by Roy R. Morris
St. Philip is about to become the home of Barbados’ biggest housing project ever.
Minister of Housing and Lands, Michael Lashley, confirmed to Barbados today while canvassing in the Bayfield area yesterday that work was about to begin on the 2,000-house Villages at Bushy Park project.
Lashley said the ministry was about to sign the contract for the multi-million dollar project with the developer, SRL Limited, which would provide all the funding for the venture.
“I can tell you that this project, as massive as it is, will cost the taxpayers not on cent in cash,” Lashley said. “We will provide the land and the developer would provide everything else.”
The minister noted that the project would bring a windfall for small contractors, since Cabinet had insisted that the contract documents must specify that the developer must employ between 15 and 20 small contractors who had demonstrated a proven track record with the National Housing Corporation.
“I can confirm now that we have the Busy Park complex about to come on stream, and that will be a mini town in the east with 2,000 houses. The Bushy Park contract has been awarded for the construction of 2,000 houses. It will have supermarket, gas station and all the other amenities associated with a town.
“It will comprise both lower income and middle income houses… The contract is about to be signed and it will be called The Villages at Bushy Park. Cabinet has been mandated that 15 or 20 small contracts must be involved in the project. It will be a major financial undertaking, but Government is putting no money into it. The developer will be responsible for the infrastructure and the houses, but Government is providing the land.”
Lashley said he was satisfied that the Democratic Labour Party Government had an unmatched record in the provision of houses and housing solutions and it would not allow anyone to suggest otherwise and go unchallenged.
“In five years we have done so much, and in an unfriendly economic climate,” he added.
“If we had had a friendly economic climate only God knows what we would have been able to achieve… That’s why I am very, very disturbed by (Sunday Sun columnist) Patrick Hoyos who is always referring to this Government as a do-little administration. I believe that Pat Hoyos should really be fair and realistic and point to the things that we have done.
“In fact, I intend to give him a list very shortly of the things this Government has done. To say we are a do-little administration is really, really unfair … and he has to duty to be balanced as a journalist.” email@example.com