SMHDF secures US $3.2M for renovation of Belvedere duplexes | THE DAILY HERALD

Belvedere duplexes

BELVEDERE–Residents of St. Maarten Housing Development Foundation’s (SMHDF’s) duplex homes in Belvedere can look forward to having their properties renovated now that funds have been secured for a programme of extensive renovations.

SMHDF said on Tuesday that it recently secured more than US $3.2 million to enable the renovation work to proceed.

Funding will come from the foundation’s own resources, which will be reimbursed by the National Recovery Program Bureau (NRPB) in association with the World Bank, which has promised funding for repairs and renovations to St. Maarten’s social housing program.

According to SMHDF General Director Helen Salomons, the renovation works have been stalled for a number of reasons, including court actions brought by duplex tenants and some tenants’ refusal to pay full monthly rent because of disrepair of some of the duplex properties.  There was also the issue of tenants refusing to have the properties assessed by a local engineering firm, claiming they wanted to exercise their right to purchase the properties – a claim denied by SMHDF.

Salomons said that if all goes well, workmen can begin working on the first properties from September/October of this year.

She said the renovation works will be carried out on 133 units, 23 of which have been sold to tenants.

While the properties had their roofs and ceilings temporarily repaired in a first round of work soon after Hurricane Irma, a more permanent job will be based on the “build back better” concept of strengthening the duplex roofs to make them more hurricane-resistant, replacement of windows and doors, and installation of fixtures and cabinets.  SMHDF said that once the renovation works are completed, the foundation will have complied with a court order to renovate the properties and therefore will be able to demand payment of full rent from its duplex tenants, on whom the foundation relies for its main operational revenues.

Source: The Daily Herald