BVI News

Persons must be certified to own homes – SSB

Skelton

While noting that one does not have to be born in the British Virgin Islands to benefit from its home ownership programme, the Social Security Board (SSB) said persons will have to become certified before they can qualify for the affordable homes programme.

“The buyers must attend a Home Buyers Educational Programme and earn a Certificate of Completion. A mortgage must be secured from a local bank,” said the SSB on a printout showing the various prerequisites to owning one of the homes.

Meanwhile, only families and individuals earning a combined yearly income of $150,000 or less will be eligible to buy one of these homes, the SSB said.

In the meantime, minister responsible for the SSB Ronnie Skelton stated that persons who are not born in the British Virgin Islands may also qualify to purchase one of the SSB properties.

“These homes are not just for BVIslanders. They are for Belongers; they are for people who resident because every one contributes to the social security scheme. So it’s important for you to understand that it’s not for those of us who was born and bred in the BVI. It’s for everyone who qualifies as a Belonger and as a resident.”

The SSB however mandates that non-Belongers be a residents of the Territory for the last 20 years.

It added that homeowners must occupy the property as their ‘primary residence’.

The affordable housing programme was launched to give persons a chance at home ownership and wealth-building.

Just over 400 persons already have applied to purchase homes under the new initiative.

The SSB broke ground last week for what will be known as Joe’s Hill Manor where some 53 residential units will be erected in the Road Town and Long Bush area at an estimated cost of $14 million.

Joes Hill Manor is considered as phase one of the programme. There are also plans to extend the project to the eastern and western sections of Tortola.

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