Housing Project: MP Moniz Responds To Minister

November 27, 2018

“This project, like the Grand Atlantic project, would have been nothing more than a white elephant, a complete waste of the people’s money,” OBA MP and former Minister Trevor Moniz said, and the decision to change the 100 housing project “was made in the full light of public scrutiny over 5 years ago.”

His comments follow after Minister of Public Works Lt/Col David Burch said the former OBA government  “completely and unequivocally destroyed a project that was to bring housing relief to 100 families in this country.”

Speaking in the House of Assembly, the Minister said that the project started in 2012, and after the OBA won the 2012 election they reduced the number of homes from 100 to 20, which “resulted in the construction of 20 homes for the incredible amount of $25 million” and the “wastage of a further $2.2 million in unused materials.”

“The level of sheer incompetence in this regard by the former OBA Minister and government is simply breath taking,” the Minister added.

In response, Mr Moniz said, “On Friday in the House of Assembly the Minister of Public Works made a statement to the House of Assembly that was, in my view, an unparliamentary personal attack. He followed this up with interviews to the broadcast media that were simply untrue.

“The Minister stated that I had thrown away millions of dollars when I stopped the 100 Homes Project at Ireland Island South. He further stated in his interview to the broadcast media, ‘How do you justify the decision you made and keep it quiet?’.

“Further the Minister alleged that I had allowed the concrete panels for 2 blocks units to be improperly stored and to deteriorate in storms and to be possibly damaged in being moved and that they may have been ultimately stored in an unsuitable spot at the Sallyport where they were exposed to the weather.

“[1] I will first address the scandalous statement that I somehow kept it quiet. On the 7 June 2013 I made a 7 page statement to the House of Assembly on my decision to stop the 100 Homes project to staunch the flow of red ink and to save the taxpayer $11 million. The decision was made in the full light of public scrutiny over 5 years ago. It was also widely reported in the news media.

“[2] To address the main point that it was wrong to stop the project. This project like the Grand Atlantic project would have been nothing more than a white elephant, a complete waste of the people’s money.

“[3] The OBA had questioned the wisdom of this project in the runup to the 2012 election and that was well known, so the action that we took when we became Government was no surprise to anyone. We already knew that Bermuda had lost around 5,000 residents and that there was an excess of housing available on the market. Again the proof of this is the inability to sell any more than one or two of the homes at the Grand Atlantic.

“[4] It is interesting to quote the Minister’s own description of the type of construction in his statement to the broadcast media, ‘ It was an untraditional build. I personally don’t like them. Had I been Minister I probably would not have agreed to such because I think you have so many unknowns.’ Well at least there is something the Minister and I may agree upon!

“[5] In addition WEDCo owned numerous units at the Boaz Island development, 7 of which were sitting empty, and which we were refurbishing to make habitable.

“[6] I was very concerned about the proposed density of the housing development that would just re-create unhealthy housing conditions. So I am happy to confess to putting 20 homes where they intended to shoehorn in about 50. I recommend that members of the public go and look for themselves. We now have a much more attractive entrance to the Dockyard than there would be with 100 homes.

“[7] Finally with respect to the storage of the unused concrete panels that is the responsibility of WEDCo.”

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Comments (28)

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  1. Joe Bloggs says:

    So there Col. Burch!

  2. Moniz should surrender his own home to Housing.

  3. 2 Bermudas says:

    Meanwhile de economy is tanking. Enjoy de titty milk in Wakanda!! Ha ha ha!!

    • Really says:

      Really? Where did you pull that lie from when the recent economic reports suggest otherwise…what lie are you going to fix up to spew out now?

      • sandgrownan says:

        Er..no they don’t. All normal indicators show a contraction and a decrease in consumer confidence.

      • LocaliCartel says:

        If you believe the recent economic reports suggest a positive future outlook, you have no idea how to interpret economic reports.

        • Anbu says:

          They dont need to interpret. They r TOLD what to think. Better to be daft and accept whats been said than to have to actually do some work and think for themselves. Much easier to be a sheep apparently

      • 2 Bermudas says:

        Retail sales are in a free fall
        Less payroll income compared to last year
        Morgan’s Point on hold
        Increased taxes
        Shrinking residential population
        $2.5bn in debt
        Underfunded Pension
        Business community’s lack of confidence in gov’t
        No Fintech jobs as yet
        No casinos in the near term, or ever
        Still running a $100m budget deficit

      • Double S says:

        What economic reports are you referencing?

      • Double S says:

        - Q1 GDP contracted
        - Employment income is down $16mn year-on-year (would’ve been much more if the PLP didn’t give the civil service blanket raises)
        - Six consecutive months of falling retail sales (inc. overseas purchases)
        - Business confidence has plummeted
        - Real estate market is flat lining again (and yet the PLP want to build more)
        - New taxes as promised by the PLP have and will continue to make this worse

        Please provide your reports that rebut all those Government published statistics. Be interesting to see the ‘alternative facts’ that you have.

  4. sandgrownan says:

    Or phrased differently, “crawl back under your rock Zane, stop being disingenuous”

  5. Col. says:

    You tell him Trevor…

    • WHAT? says:

      This clown is one of the reasons so many black voters left the UBP i mean oba. I guess the 25 to 11 win didn’t tell you fools nothing.

      • 2 Bermudas says:

        25 – 11 doesn’t create jobs, shrink the deficit or pay the debt. Maybe it does in Wakanda but not in Bermuda!! Keep drinking de titty milk! Ha ha ha!!

  6. Really says:

    Ok Mr. Moniz I noticed how you danced around the real question as to why it took 1.2million for EACH home to be built when the estimates were much lower for more units. The whole idea was to present affordable housing to those that could NOT afford the current houses that were on the market. If you were saving us money why it took 3 times the amount to make a unit? And further more sir you have not addressed the wasted materials that were not used. What’s funny is none of these other comments are asking these serious questions, it’s just your regular oba cheerleading squad giving you the pat on the back like you explained something when you DID NOT. Those are the real questions that you have dodged to answer sir. Please answer the questions so we all can get clarity and stop with the verbal gymnastics.

    • Double S says:

      The real estate market was in free fall as at 2012. Hence why the PLP’s Grand Atlantic development was another one of their massive failures. What they were trying to charge for those eye sores you could’ve bought, and still can, a single family home with land. At the same time people were losing their jobs hand over fist, so please explain how all these people were going to magically be eligible for mortgages? That is the reason why half of the BHC Board resigned at time, as they were unanimously against the development given the economic climate and was once again overruled by PLP political interference.

      And a PLP supporter complaining that other posters are not addressing the message is absolutely priceless and absolutely hypocritical.

      And he actually did address about the unused materials. Reading is key.

    • question says:

      By the time Cox lost the 2012 election the economy was shrinking by 7% a year, the government was spending $400m a year more than it was collecting, and (encouraged by Burch) job creators were leaving the island, taking their companies and jobs with them, weekly. Shops were closing, offices were empty, and Bermudians were unemployed.

      Thank goodness someone came into power who stopped wasting money.

    • watching says:

      You’re missing the forest for the trees by concentrating on the per unit cost.

      The OBA took an unneeded project that cost $36 million, salvaged what they could and brought it down to $25 million, saving the taxpayers $11 million.

      Once the PLP made the investment in those pre-fab units in 2012, it was all a sunk cost which should have had no bearing on the OBA government’s decision afterwards on whether to continue the project or not.

      Sounds financially responsible for me.

      • Wrong says:

        Pure waste by OBA – you talk about millions like it is pennies because it ain’t your money! Moniz was and still is a lost cause and pushed his whining voice into the AG post by unseating Pettingill politically but that ended up biting the entire OBA in the a$$! Well done Trevor!

      • Anbu says:

        No no no. We cant have the evil oba saving us money. The plp says they are all evil and out to get the everyday man. Trevor should have doubled our savings if he was an effective minister. Lol. (Sarcasm for the not so quick)