BVI News

Joes Hill homes shall not remain vacant — Social Security Minister

Wheatley

Social Security Minister Vincent Wheatley has expressed confidence that all the government’s low-income housing units at Joe’s Hill Manor will be occupied once it has been completed.

This was despite Opposition Leader Marlon Penn’s suggestion that homeownership for the average citizen who would likely apply for the housing units was too prohibitive given the estimated start-up funding required.

Penn said he looked at the cost of owning a home and the average he came up with was $350,000 per unit.

He suggested persons needed roughly $75,000 as start-up payments from the bank, in addition to miscellaneous fees to purchase a unit.

Minister Wheatley said while assumptions can be made about how the properties would be acquired, it might surprise some to see how fast the properties will move as some persons may already have the money and are likely waiting to move in.

Wheatley suggested that money from the government’s Money Services Transfer tax fund will likely assist persons who cannot afford the cost of owning housing units by meeting them halfway with payments. 

“They (the units) shall not remain vacant,” he declared.

Giving a synopsis of structures built for the Joe’s Hill project, Minister Wheatley said there are six one-bedroom condominiums; 18 two-bedroom condominiums; six two-bedroom split-level condominiums; 13 two-bedroom houses; three three-bedroom houses; two two-bedroom townhouses; and four three-bedroom town houses. 

This amounted to a total of 52 units. 

He said there is also a three-storey commercial building being constructed as part of the project.

Wheatley told the House of Assembly the total cumulative monies expended on the project to date amount to $20,573,343.32.

Prepare to receive your blessings

Meanwhile, commenting on persons who had applied for and had been granted Crown lands but had not completed payment after as much as 10 years, the minister said they were not removed from the list but were instead put into a waiting area until they are ready to complete the payments.

According to Minister Wheatley, persons who made partial payments were either given a refund or simply hadn’t been removed from the list and were instead given a further extension to pay in some instances.

He said payment plans were generally extended to applicants for a five-year or 10-year period.

“Persons who are ready to build now who had the funding got the preference over those persons who didn’t have the money to pay off for those lands,” Wheatley stated.

He said no one would be denied a proper chance to own property in the BVI, adding that he felt this would be a disservice to the community if it were to happen.

Persons must get themselves ready, must be prepared financially or otherwise to own the opportunity when it comes.’

“You must be there prepared to receive your blessings when the blessing comes. You can’t just pray and do nothing and when the blessing comes you aren’t prepared to receive your blessings,” Wheatley stated.

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16 Comments

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  1. Hahaha this funny says:

    You idiots still depending on expats tax money and ayo don’t want the ppl here ayo treating them like dogs
    I waiting to see who will buy those units
    Ayo already make it difficult for us to survive in our own country
    Expats already start packing up to go back to there country most of them are my friends
    How can ppl survive on minimum wage with everything keep increasing
    Good luck with y’all fantasy thinking
    You VIP ministers will live in those houses
    Just wasting poor ppl tax money

    Like 18
    Dislike 8
    • @hahaha says:

      The Caribbean expats purchasing property simply diminishes VI property. Caribbean expats investing in property decreases property value. Fact.
      The Joe’s Hill development is not a good investment for those who wish to see a good return and this because those who will be purchasing and residing there are the least desired neighbors for many reasons. Government Housing limits financial growth under the guise of helping. It is a congame.
      So if they are as you say,packing
      and leaving that is a benefit to the VI when it comes to property value and quality of life. No tears.

      Like 1
      Dislike 4
      • Jane says:

        @@hahaha – I get your point but rather than talk in terms of ethnic/nationality of the occupants but in terms of their incomes. The fact is that these properties are cheap and people buying them will not come from the wealthiest end of society. Communities work best when there is mixed income housing, some rich, some poor, some middle. Rich ghetto or poor ghetto is not a good community. I wish this development had been a bit more thoughtful and created mixture of houses and finishes so that we can have a mixture of people there. I wish they were keeping the low-income housing as rental properties (like through a Housing Association) so that future generations of needy BVIslanders could also benefit. Once these properties are sold the tax-payers investment in them is going to cease. A little bit more vision was needed.

        If there are future developments I hope that some of the properties would also be made available on a share ownership basis so that people could get their foot on the ladder.

  2. Explain this please says:

    Could you explain why you used tax payers money to buy a black sports car for your use? Do you think that this is your own private business that you could do that? A minister driving a black sports car with GV red plates on it?

    Like 20
    Dislike 1
    • I could tell you says:

      I saw the car with the GV plates and thought I was imagining this madness.

      You mean to say this man couldn’t use the minister’s salary to buy his own sports car?

      Like 15
  3. Hmmm says:

    You just cant make this s**t up.

    If you have too much tax money. Then give me back my money. Not use it to pay somebody mortgage.

    Like 17
  4. Not too fast says:

    Lets safe this conversation until the units are finished…We have a tendency to start full speed and cant finish..

  5. Reality says:

    The harsh reality is that not everyone is destined/ will be able to own a home. This has been going on forever and will continue. So all the negativity needs to stop. Those who can afford it will own a home and those who can’t just needs to accepts that. Accept your reality, whatever that is. The BVI people needs to accept responsibility for self and stop lookin to government for everything.

    Like 11
    Dislike 2
    • Selfish says:

      What a selfish outlook. Many countries build affordable housing and I have no problem paying taxes to support that effort. Why shouldn’t the BVI? It gives people who are less fortunate the opportunity to be home owners and provide a secure place to live for their families. Otherwise it is a vicious cycle of the rich getting richer and the poor getting poorer. We are not all born with a silver spoon and if you’re self made don’t think you got there all on your own – you had help too.

    • SAY IT AGAIN! says:

      Say it again but louder! Plus some of the same onez squandering their money on things like stip clubs and Brazilian weave but then complain that it is cost prohibitive to own a home. We cannot be a society that rewards poor planners and those who just squander their money. We must however find avenues to assist persons genuinely trying…

  6. BVI Future says:

    The average cost of a home is $350,000.
    The minimum hourly rate is $6.00 an hour.
    A gallon of orange juice is $9.00.
    A country without a functioning public high school.
    Politicians voting to increase their salaries.
    COI.

    Like 29
  7. I would like to know says:

    You are speaking on minimum wage but what qualifications do these people posses to worth earning more money. If minimum wages increases that does not equate to everything changing for the better. This will just further increase the cost of living in the country. Also, it will force company’s to review their staff and many instead of making a little may be unemployed.

    Like 4
    Dislike 4
  8. So far... says:

    52 units, $20.5 million spent. A total of 105 bedrooms. So far:

    $195,936.60 per bedroom

    That makes the cost (rounded), so far:

    1 bedroom: $195k
    2 bedrooms: $392k
    3 bedrooms: $588k

    Looks like there’s more to do, what will the total cost be when they are done?

  9. Ausar says:

    350,000 to own a home is excessive!

    How about 150,000 to start?

    We should be about assisting the less fortunate, not erasing the ability of them ever owning a home!!

    This is so sad!!

    How could you, Premier Fahie, sleep at night?

    THIS IS UNCONSCIONABLE!!!!!

    A slap in the face of good governance!!

    Definitely NOT the type of leadership worth voting for, GOING FORWARD!!

    • Novision says:

      Next time around, Government should pay half into the scheme and lower the cost of the units. People working in supermarkets cannot afford none of these homes. They are making BVI like USVI, KFC, and Pizza Hut too.

  10. Oh boy says:

    Another SSB scheme. Reaching for the sun, wax in your wings will melt, Icarus.

    Like 1
    Dislike 1

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