339 People Are $2.1 Million In BHC Rental Arrears

August 31, 2018 | 17 Comments

“We have 339 people who are in arrears, clients of the Bermuda Housing Corporation, as of this moment, who are in arrears to the tune of $2.1 million,” Minister of Public Works Lt/Col David Burch said, adding that many have payment plans, and “if people are prepared to work with us, then we are prepared to work with them.”

The Minister’s comments follow after media reports of a family being evicted from a Princess Street property, with the family apparently having some $17,000 in arrears.

Minister Burch noted he would not normally put people’s information in the public domain, but that since it was already in the media, he wishes to respond on behalf of BHC.

He said evictions from the Bermuda Housing Corporation are “rare and few and far between” but he does not “tolerate abuses of the system” as it “prevents us being able to help the next family.”

40-minute video of the Minister’s comments:

Minister Burch said, “I don’t normally put people’s personal information in to the public domain, but I think that it’s important that there be some clarification about what was asserted against the Corporation.

“To put this whole story in to context, no one in this country gets evicted for arrears. No one in this country gets evicted from the Bermuda Housing Corporation’s perspective, for arrears.

“Now that’s not a ‘Burchism’ and I brought some statistics to justify that statement. We have 339 people who are in arrears, clients of the Bermuda Housing Corporation, as of this moment, who are in arrears to the tune of $2.1 million. Now that’s over a lot of years.

“But we’re an agency that helps folk, and so therefore, you will not see us, I mean, if you look at this particular occasion, evictions from the Bermuda Housing Corporation are rare, and few and far between.

“And that is for a reason, a specific reason that we are in the business of helping folk. People will also know that I do not tolerate abuses of the system. And that’s not just me, what that does, it prevents us from maybe being able to help the next family.”

Minister Burch added, “And so, you don’t go from one month of arrears to court to eviction, that’s not the timeline.

“So when you get to an eviction and the media are called, we are at the end of a lengthy and long process, and in this particular of case, over a number of years, and a number of false starts.

“And how we get to be able to accept 339 people with $2.1 million in arrears, is that each one of those people have a payment plan,” the Minister explained.

“Now in many instances, some of those people are never going to pay off their debt. It’s just not possible, within the income that they generate. But the reason why no action is taken against them is because the payment plan that they have, that is applicable and suitable and manageable for them, they adhere to.

“And so they are on a payment plan where they pay, if it’s $50 a week in addition to rent, over and above, towards their arrears, then we take no action.

“It’s when you refuse to participate in that process, and you are then gaming the system, then you’re not going to find a whole lot of favour with me,” the Minister said, adding that if someone is going to have it in the media, then they give him “license to at least respond on behalf of the Corporation.”

“I’m not going to put all of her business in the street,” he added, but there are a “couple of things that are inaccurate.”

“The amount of money that is in arrears, is in fact $17,000. The period of time that she’s been in arrears, it began, in 2003. There have been at least four occasions when we’ve at the brink of eviction, and it’s been pulled back for a number of reasons. So, this is several times at the realm.

The Minister added that his real message is that “if people are prepared to work with us, then we are prepared to work with them. ”

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Comments (17)

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  1. It is to be a temporary job unless it is warranted otherwise for whatever reason , it produces loyal and hard working and hopefully grateful productive people …

  2. WSP says:

    I guess an i phone 10 and new sneakers for cup match are more important. Dont worry the government will start you all of on a clean slate next month

  3. BS says:

    Small Change relative to the hotels who are 55 million in arrears in occupancy tax !

  4. hmm says:

    Anyone getting benefits from the government that is not working should be required to do community service provided sickness or health do not prevent it. You should not be able to free load in this country. Community service should be a part time job for them while the other half of their day is taking care of family needs and working towards full time employment.

  5. Painter says:

    There are also people living in BHC apartment/s that rent are being subsidies and have a personal house for over 5 years now. What have BHC done about it.

    • Toodle-oo says:

      hmm , didn’t I post just the other day about how people lie to the census enumerators and tell them that they’re tenants paying rent when they actually own the house ?
      And then they completely fabricate (under declare) their earnings !
      2 Bermudas ! !

      • Triangle Drifter says:

        Would not put much faith in the accuracy of census figures, especially when it comes to income.

    • hmmm says:

      REPORT THE PERSON OR STOP SPREADING FAKE NEWS!!!!!!!!

  6. Me says:

    If feel like something nice i feel like lobsta and fench fys eh eh

  7. Painter says:

    I reported the person over two years and nothing happen. Two Bermuda’s or three

  8. PANGAEA says:

    Lt/ Col they are all taking you for a ride , they are not behind with their car payments are they ? Not funny !

  9. Mb says:

    What was this woman’s monthly rent??
    Without a job how was she to pay anything anyway??its a simply fact…no income no rent, so what’s the solution, toss her out on to street? Burch and team need to consider that.

    People in BHC housing are there for reason …if they coukd afford it they would pay.
    @wsp what an ignorant comment with NO basis. A cell phone is a necessity anyway.

    • Frank says:

      A cell phone is not a necessity just school kids getting a free ride on the bus but the parents can afford an iohone

  10. Wahoo says:

    Simple solution would be to take away a person’s passport once they are in arrears.

  11. Question says:

    Don’t expect any of this to change. Burch’s government wants to change the law in order to weaken the ability of creditors to collect their debts.

  12. PANGAEA says:

    I have been in the finance business for years, I have seen it all.

    Personal debt, commersial debt, is worse than the plague as it spreads like an uncontrolable wild fire.

    Big business and governments can go bust.

    It is simple to say, if people can make the first payment , then it must be assumed people can make all the rest sounds easy, but !

    ” What if” some thing goes wrong like illness in the family, with a job loss, or say your car hits a wall or a hit and run , worst still the price of bread milk and egg goes up or even worse still still if some body introduces a new tax, your dollar does not go as far. Consequently you get behind.

    This is all about inflation which will destroy every thing in its path, you included.

    One answer of many, its called personal restraint ,dont try to “keep up with the Jones” they are in debt big time, don’t you get into debt only buy what you need not what you think you may want.

    The roof over your head and food on the table must take priority.

  13. PANGAEA says:

    The is a difference between the have and the have not.

    One lives for to day the other live for the future.

    The haves will always have and the have will always have not.

    There is absolutely nothing we can do about it as this irresponsibility has been going on for hundreds of years

    The difference is the inability of one over the other regarding the management of money.

    Attached to managing money is great risk.

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