By Lindsey Turnbull
In Parliament on Thursday, 2 December, Lands Minister Juliana O’Connor Connolly announced the roll out in 2022 of a new affordable residential land lot programme, created in response to major concerns raised by Caymanians across all three islands.
An affordable residential land lot programme was one that was in addition to the building of 100 affordable homes per year that had already been announced by Housing Minister, Johany Ebanks, the Minister stated. Instead, this was a programme to allow Caymanians to purchase their own parcel of land on which they wish to build their own home.
She anticipated the new programme would fill a gap which they could see today where there were Caymanians who did not qualify for the affordable homes programme due to their income being too high for the programme, but their income was not high enough to purchase a home in today’s market.
“We have Caymanians who wish to have the input on the design and build of their own homes, if they could only afford a piece of land,” Minister O’Connor Connolly said.
In order to make this happen, government would acquire and utilise existing Crown land where they would create residential land lot sub divisions which would include necessary road and utilities infrastructure. The government would then allow Caymanians to purchase residential land at an affordable price. The lots would be available for sale at cost and with certain restrictions and conditions to facilitate Caymanian land ownership.
“We anticipate it will allow Caymanians to afford an affordable piece of the Cayman Islands in order to construct a future family home and create communities which build our country,” she advised, adding that more information would be forthcoming in 2022.
The government was already launching a pilot of the programme at East End where they anticipated having over 40 house lots for sale. They had already purchased the property and preference would be given to the residents of East End. The plans for the sub-division have been drawn and were currently being reviewed and revised. It would have plots for sale on which the Ministry of Investment, Innovation and Social Development could build much-needed housing for indigent people and there would also be lots for affordable homes and lots for commercial use as well as lots for community space and parking, with its location opposite a brand-new public beach.
“Community builds country and we are affording the middle-income Caymanians with an opportunity for a well-planned out urban community,” she said.
The programme will be launched in 2022.