SMCU members to have first preference for 60 new homes

Minister Christophe Emmanuel on Wednesday.


PHILIPSBURG–Housing Minister Christophe Emmanuel announced on Wednesday that the St. Maarten Communication Union (SMCU) headed by Ludson Evers had contacted him last week after hearing about the plan to construct 160 homes for first-time home-owners.

  The union wanted its members to have first preference to purchase these homes, as they contribute to the Curaçao-based pension fund Vidanova which will finance the project. Emmanuel made it clear that the project is for first-time home-owners and most of the employees of these companies are already home-owners.

  After a brief negotiation period, the union managed to come to an agreement with Emmanuel to let first-time home-owners working at these companies have first preference for approximately 60 homes.

  Emmanuel acted as a broker between Curaçao-based Vidanova Pensions and Retirement Fund and a landowner in Dawn Beach to get what he calls a long-overdue boost to the country’s affordable-homes sector. 

  The project will comprise 160 homes, with the finalisation set for the end of 2018. The first 50 homes to be built in Dawn Beach with funding from Vidanova are to become available by December 25. Emmanuel said he continues to work on the project because a project like this has never been done on the island. Parties have already agreed to the sale, he said, and the finalisation is almost complete.

  Vidanova will offer qualifying first-time homebuyers 100 per cent financing at an interest rate of some five per cent. The mortgage payments, covering the house and land, will range from US $850 to $1,100 per month for the one- and two-bedroom homes, which will take the form of duplexes and stand-alone houses.

Source: The Daily Herald