Four families in Beetham Gardens will soon have new homes from the Housing Development Corporation (HDC).

The HDC yesterday turned the turf to rebuild rental accommodation at 23 and 24 streets in Beetham.

This project will serve as a model for the reconstruction and renovation of many other units as well as for new construction, which will produce approximately 96 units when completed.

HDC chief executive Jayselle McFarlane said: “So to achieve this goal we need to gradually increase the supply of social housing. We need to get to the point…where the person working in minimum wage employment, especially our wives and single mothers, employed in our fast food outlets, in our security companies and even at the lowest levels of civil service, and who make up a very large portion of the 191,000 HDC applicants, may in fact qualify for state-sponsored housing.

McFarlane noted that in the HDC context, social housing means the provision of residential rental accommodation at below market rates and that the company’s target audience is people who cannot afford rent in the open market. , thus distinguishing it from the more general term “affordable” housing.”

Minister at the Department of Housing and Urban Development, Adrian Leonce, said: ‘It pains me when I see people living in less than livable conditions, and I must commend the HDC for taking this step which will transform and will change the lives of people within this community.”

Leonce explained that about 94,000 people, or nearly 50% of people on the housing application processing system or HAFS database, have an income of $5,000 or less.

“Between 2010 and 2016, the majority of homes built by the Corporation denied these citizens the opportunity to own an HDC home because they could not afford it, even at the subsidized rate.

“Additionally, the Company’s figures show that between 2017 and today there have been 5,000 mortgage conversions and only 417 rental arrangements. The Company is therefore undertaking to change this to allow its rental tenants to be as comfortable and secure as its mortgage tenants.

The first building dedicated to reconstruction and renovation will make significant improvements to six units. The four families occupying the current accommodation will be relocated in two weeks to allow the start of work on the first building. The remaining four families will be relocated to units owned by the Land Settlement Agency (LSA), and these units are expected to be completed by the end of September. Once that happens, construction will begin on the second building.