Video: Premier Burt Press Conference

March 7, 2024 | 13 Comments

[Updated] The Premier and Minister of Finance David Burt is hosting a press conference aimed at spotlighting a new finance and economic initiative. We will have additional information later on, and in the meantime the live video is below.

The 19-minute live video replay is below:

Update: Premier David Burt said, “Good Afternoon to the Minister of Economy & Labour, Representatives of the Bermuda Banker’s Association, members of the media and the people of Bermuda.

“In a concerted effort to address the acute housing shortage in Bermuda and further stimulate economic growth within our Economic Empowerment Zones, I am pleased to announce today the signing of a Memorandum Of Understanding on behalf of the Government of Bermuda as part of what we refer to as the “Approved Residential Scheme Kickstart Programme”.

“In June of 2022, the Approved Residential Scheme was established to increase the stock of available housing units, stimulate growth within the Island’s three Economic Empowerment Zones, address economic inequality, and empower entrepreneurs.

Premier Press Conference (1)

“Features of the Approved Residential Scheme widen the scope of potential investment by removing certain ownership restrictions as well as providing Customs Duty and tax incentives.

“However, despite the hard work and continued progress being made by the Bermuda Economic Development Corporation and other stakeholder groups, the cost of borrowing was identified as a barrier to prospective investors and developers which consequently impacted the takeup for this programme.

“The Ministry of Finance, when faced with problems, looks to solve them and find ways to address this issue and provide an environment that encourages investment and development that will create more housing units in Bermuda – which will alleviate housing pressures.

“This Government recognises the challenges posed by the shortage of affordable housing, which impacts families and young Bermudians and can impact our economic growth. Therefore, it remains committed to working with stakeholders to help mitigate these challenges through this collaborative initiative.

Premier Press Conference (2)

“We are pleased to announce the launch of the Approved Residential Scheme ‘Kickstart’ programme, which will offer investors and developers a reduction in local borrowing rates for large-scale residential and mixed-use properties that meet the appropriate guidelines.

Under this initiative, the Government will provide an aggregate $50 million government guarantee to support Approved Residential Scheme opportunities within the Economic Empowerment Zones. In return for the reduced risk, participating banks, which include HSBC Bermuda, Clarien Bank, and Bermuda Commercial Bank, have committed to offer a preferred interest rate to eligible applicants.

“The agreed terms within this MOU represent a collaborative effort between the Government and the participating banks to achieve our overall objective of increasing affordable housing, further spurring construction activity, which will provide more jobs and build on our Economic Development Strategy.

Premier Press Conference (3)

“Key terms of this MOU include

  • Total aggregate limit is not to exceed $50 million
  • Any additional exposure would be subject to the agreement of the Government
  • The Government Guarantee shall remain in place until the expiry of 6 years following completion of the construction period
  • As with the Mortgage Guarantee Programme, the Government will not have any involvement and/or influence on the Banks’ credit underwriting or enforcement decisions

Premier Press Conference (4)

“Participating banks will determine the discounted interest rates. As the size and scope of the potential development projects can vary, there is no agreed set interest rate; however, each bank has agreed to offer a discounted rate, which will help to materially reduce the cost of development.

“Finally, I would like to take this opportunity to thank the participating banks, HSBC, Clarien, and BCB, for their efforts in working with the Government with this programme, which we believe will support our economic growth as the Government remains committed to executing our Economic Development Strategy.

“I would also like to thank the teams within the Ministry of Finance and Bermuda Economic Development Corporation for working with the Government on this initiative.

“Thank you.“

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Comments (13)

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  1. Joe Bloggs says:

    The PLP Government is offering a $50 million guarantee for people who build new homes in the Hamilton EEZ and is promoting such construction even as dozens of Bermuda homes lie derelict!

    • watching says:

      The homes that are derelict are largely caught up in family dispute or estate settlement or families are unwilling or unable to spend the money to restore. While that is a concern and a challenge, I don’t understand what that situation has to do with this one. Other than someone trying to cast aspersions on whatever initiatives the government puts out there.

      • Joe Bloggs says:

        My concern is that the PLP Government is risking $50 million of taxpayer money as a make-work project. If the homes were needed, developers would build them.

        The PLP Government is risking our money to try artificially stimulate the economy rather than addressing the real economic issues.

        If more homes were needed for families, why are so many schools being closed?

        • Pa says:

          Joe Bloggs.

          You hit the nail on the head when you used the word risk .
          lending money comes with it and enormous risk, also borrowing money place burden on who ever borrows it, withy more and more risk.

          Home owner ship is without doubt one if life’s greatest joys. i would not take that away from any body.

          Risk again raises it ugly head or becomes a night mare when some thing goes wrong like devorse or major medical issues.

          There sits that car loan , another burden !
          There is additional future cost to be accountes for its education add that to the family budget , beleive me, its constant struggle, and there is always the “what if” ! money or the lack of it causes many a devorce.
          The government steps in are they going to be able to stop the ship from sinking?

          We get another recession they seem to come ever ten years lately. We are as a country all done for.

          Principal debt together with interest raises cost and maintenance cost in another rung on the ladder for every thing on top of building cost but not increasing the value.
          We are subjest to our national debt. that scares me.
          What about the countries personal debt. that also scares me
          let us add private realestate mortgage debt and related repayment. That scares me payments to be mare for insurane are another burden i am not leaving out insurance companies risk
          Now let talk about income both parents are working they are supporting children and an elderly family member also they can eat chicken soup everyday of the week. by Monday the money is nearly all gone .

          Where have all the tourist gone?
          We are fighting for our lives now to put food on the table many families are home steading these days .

          let me tell you all what we have done to our selves or let me ask you to tell me?
          Are we living on borrowed money from the future and when the future comes then what?
          Do we just go down the road and borow some more.

    • Former member says:

      I hope the oba pays you well for being a troll.

      • Joe Bloggs says:

        If that is directed at me, I have said many times I am not and never have been a member of any political party. I post to expose the truth, not to promote any political agenda.

      • Truth says:

        You’re jealous that they may pay better than the PLP pays you to be a troll?

        • Trott says:

          Not a single soul in the PLP is jealous of the losers in the obaubpeee. Losers today and losers a day before and the day after the next election.

          • Truth says:

            Didn’t understand what was written?
            Who is losing these days?

            You’re ruled by a white guy with a construction company. LMFAO

          • LOL - the real one says:

            You’re jealous of the OBA, that’s why all you do is post about them. You don’t have any thing else to talk about.
            You love the OBA!

  2. Ringmaster says:

    The PLP cannot successfully run the Government or existing builds like the Bermudiana yet want to offer more guarantees. Recipe for more debt and disaster for taxpayers. Burt is so dangerous, thinks he is a financial wiz kid when he clearly has no clue. The classic “I’m from Government and I’m here to help you” most frightening words.

  3. Steve says:

    Burt needs to go

  4. Pa says:

    Vacant a derelict homes was a project started some 20 +years ago when the number of new vacant and suitable construction sights dried up.

    We have lots of golf courses, I guess we need to keep them for growing food , swap the lawn mower for the plough , as they say but do not do.

    A survey was conducted to determine how many vacant buildings were salvageable, unfortunately some were found to be too far gone or structually unsound, poor or no foundations, with termite ridden roof lumber, rusty nails, under sized rooms with no closets , non existant bathroom space ,and a shortage of Bermuda stone roof slate.
    We have to build hurrican proof construction, there is you price difference as wooden construction will not survive here .

    Other buildings were found to be unsuitable for todays modern day living .
    To top it all off we found poorly constructed single family units .
    A two unit complex with a lower income unit was found to be more suitable.

    To days high priced construction materials, make home building impractical and uneconomical.

    To be blunt the dreamers still think low cost is viable, I have news for you . You get what you pay for, we have seen the good times, they are no more , how many time do i have to say this.

    “There is no such thing as low cost housing .” ~ Get it !

    Many year ago we all helped one another build our homes with to days mind set ,that is not going to happen through lack of comradary and other problems .
    No body to day want to work for free, home building on hill sides is highly technical subject to many regulations and has become is mammoth task for the un skilled .

    To days value is to be found to be in the land and no body is giving that away, that is if you can find any, including the title deeds .
    Many properties were subject to family disputes with non existant or un tracable wills or lack there of title deeds some of which were hand written.
    Progress in home building came to a end by the change in government then we saw the failed three story condo now costing in the millions being built on the South shore water side . May i ask who want to climb three stores carring a bag of groceries in one hand and a child in the other?

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