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Housewarming for affordable homeowners

Local News 13 Jun, 2023 Follow News

The Ministry of PAHI Parliamentary Secretary Hon. Isaac Rankine presenting gift bags to homeowners

Seven Caymanian families who have purchased housing through the Affordable Housing Initiative at East End recently enjoyed a housewarming celebration to mark this latest phase of the project. They were joined by Governor Jane Owen, Premier Wayne Panton and Ministry of Planning, Agriculture, Housing & Infrastructure (PAHI) Parliamentary Secretary Isaac Rankine

These latest home owners join 23 other Caymanian families who, over the past two years, have been able to purchase homes in East End Heights through this programme.

Mr Rankine said it was an incredible moment that the homeowners ought to be proud of and one they were happy to share with them.

“The ability of Caymanians to buy homes of their own has become a critical issue as property costs continue to increase,” he said. “Every Caymanian wants to achieve the dream of homeownership but that dream is out of reach for too many. The government is meeting this challenge by developing new solutions to develop high-quality and sustainable houses and help Caymanians afford to buy them.” 

Mr Rankine said the affordable housing initiative represented an opportunity for Caymanians to be on the property ladder, to build families and to have the best life they could have.

The National Housing Development Trust is a government-owned not-for-profit company overseen by the Ministry of Planning, Agriculture, Housing and Infrastructure. The Trust’s mission is to construct and provide affordable homes in planned communities, offer easier financing opportunities and provide management systems that add security, value and ownership that impact a sense of pride in hard-working Caymanians who are placed in the low and middle-income category.

Under the NHDT’s Affordable Housing Initiative, a total of 23 affordable houses have been built at East End Heights with a goal of completing 50 at the site.

The new homeowners in East End Heights were provided with gift certificates and a celebratory gift bag from the Ministry in partnership with CUC, the Water Authority – Cayman and other generous donors.

Kendal Connor, Director of National Housing Development Trust, confirmed there was a great demand for affordable housing across Cayman.

“We are focused on developing new solutions to help meet it,” he said “Our drive to deliver affordable housing is matched by a commitment to ensure they are high-quality, sustainable homes that are built by a mix of small and medium local contractors to create good jobs and balanced economic growth.”

In addition to East End Heights, other ongoing development projects under the NHDT’s Affordable Housing Initiative are located across Grand Cayman.

At the same event, Mr Rankine, dedicated a new street sign in East End Heights to Marvelle Norine Mclaughlin, MMH, calling it an honour to commemorate the life of one of the brightest lights of the East End over the last nearly 100 years.

“Marvelle Norine McLaughlin defined the sense of community, commitment to family and hard work and character we value, which is why it is so appropriate that she will now have a permanent place in East End Heights,” he said.

Marvelle Norine McLaughlin was born in East End in July 1932 and lived there her entire life. Despite limited access to educational opportunities, she earned a range of jobs throughout her working life but distinguished herself as a cook and baker. Her involvement throughout the community was recognised multiple times – with the Order of the Cayman Islands, Medal of Honour – Member Division in 2012 and as an Early Pioneer for the Preservation of Culture of Heritage and Culture in 2014.

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