Rent Geared to Income Housing Completed

June 30, 2010

A promise made and a promise kept was how Premier Dr Ewart Brown described the newly completed Perimeter Lane housing units, following a tour of the property earlier today [June 29]. The Perimeter Lane development is the latest in a string of Government housing developments which are coming to fruition, with others include the Loughlands development in Paget, which is in its final stages of completion and the Harbour View Village at Southside. The Perimeter Lane development consists of 38 – one, two and three bedroom units.

Today the Premier, the Minister of Labour Home Affairs and Housing Lt. Col. David Burch, and their Cabinet colleagues had an opportunity to see firsthand the finished product at Perimeter Lane.

The Premier said, “This is a fine example of how the Government has delivered on its promise to ensure affordable and adequate housing for Bermudians. Looking at these units, you can see that they are very impressive, and we are very pleased that we could provide a dwelling of this caliber for the new community who will soon be living here.”

Click to enlarge images:

This is the first housing units built specifically for the Rent Geared to Income initiative (RGI). In September 2008, Cabinet approved the implementation of RGI which was designed to assist Bermuda Housing Corporation (BHC) tenants in BHC properties. The concept of RGI Initiative is that rent charged will be based on 25% of the combined income of all employed individuals in the household along with a mandatory 10% savings plan.

Minister Burch said, “Again this demonstrates tangible proof that we are working to assist Bermudian families in gaining their footing in this challenging financial climate. We are very pleased with the completion of this latest development because it means that 38 new families will have a roof over their heads.”

It is anticipated that the first families will begin moving into the units sometime in mid-July, and at that time, Minister Burch said that the Ministry will host a special ribbon cutting ceremony for the new tenants of the new community.

Update June 30: Statement from the Senate on this project from Minister of Labour, Home Affairs and Housing Colonel David Burch:

Madam President, I am pleased to report on the imminent completion of the Perimeter Lane housing development – the latest in a string of Government housing developments which are coming to fruition. I am equally as pleased to also report that this project that is being completed under budget.

Madam President, others include the Loughlands development in Paget, which is in its final stages and the Harbour View Village at Southside, Phase I – which is due for completion by year’s end.

Madam President, our promise to provide affordable and adequate housing for Bermudians moves a step closer with the completion of this project. You will recall that these are the first housing units built specifically for the Rent Geared to Income initiative (RGI) and consists of 38 – one, two and three bedroom units contained in three separate buildings – two three storey ones and a central 5 storey structure.

Madam President, in September 2008, Cabinet approved the implementation of the RGI concept which is designed to provide a ‘hand up’ to Bermuda Housing Corporation tenants. The concept of RGI is that rent charged is based on 25% of the combined household income along with a mandatory 10% savings plan.

Madam President, yesterday I took advantage of the opportunity to provide my Cabinet colleagues with a firsthand look of the finished product. Having not personally been on site for some weeks now – even I was most impressed with the end result. They are impressive, and we are very pleased to provide dwellings of such high caliber for the new community who will soon be living here. I have repeatedly stated that affordable housing does not have to be ghetto housing and I believe we are raising the bar and setting a new national standard for this type of accommodation in the country.

The aim here, Madam President, is to provide affordable housing for Bermudian families as well as tangible evidence of their ability to save for improved rental options or eventual home ownership.

Madam President, as well as the construction of the new units, road widening, infrastructure improvements has also been carried out for the benefit of the entire neighbourhood inclusive of improved egress onto Glebe Road.

Madam President, as the project has progressed – there has been no shortage of individuals expressing an interest in securing a unit. We have employed strict selection criteria that include BHC tenants who have a proven track record of honouring their commitments and without social challenges. In several meetings with our neighbours we have undertaken to fully manage this development to minimize any impact on the neighbourhood.

It is anticipated that the first families will begin moving into the units, sometime next month, at which time the Ministry will host a special ribbon cutting ceremony for the new residents.

Madam President, the completion of this development demonstrates yet again tangible proof that this Government is working to assist Bermudian families in gaining a footing even in this challenging economic climate. As the Minister currently responsible for housing, I could not be more pleased with the completion of this latest development because it means that another 38 families will have a new roof over their heads.”

Thank you, Madam President.

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