Information Officer I (Ag.)
Department of Information and Public Relations
A contract was signed today between the Social Security Board and James Todman Construction Limited for the construction of affordable housing in the Territory. Upon completion, the project will result in forty-three (43) housing units available on seven (7) acres of land located in Joe’s Hill.
The contract signing was chaired by the Director of the Social Security Board (SSB) Ms. Antoinette Skelton. The Director thanked everyone in attendance and explained that this contract signing was the next step in a process that was well underway before the hurricanes of 2017 put the project on hold.
Ms. Skelton said, “We know that we have a number of persons unemployed due to COVID-19. This project is going to put $17 million dollars initially into the economy, and that money will have a multiplier effect. The contractor was chosen after much deliberation; price wasn’t the only reason, but because of the reputation and the confidence that this Government and the Social Security Board has in the contractor.”
Chairman of the SSB Mr. Ian Smith also spoke of the historic value of the event and stated the Joe’s Hill Manor will be the first community to be built as a part of Social Security Board’s first time homeowners initiative.
Mr. Smith said, “The ultimate goal of the initiative is to afford BVIslanders the opportunities to own their own homes, this would lead to the encouragement towards savings and creation of wealth, a future generation of homeowners and independent citizens, which will contribute into the solidification of the foundations of our growing economy.”
Minister for Natural Resources, Labour and Immigration Honourable Vincent Wheatley expressed that he was pleased and showed his gratitude to everyone that was involved in bringing the project to where it is now.
Minister Wheatley said, “We are in COVID-19 and we know of our unemployment, we know the difficulty persons are having and we need to inject money into the economy. But even more importantly is the need for the Government to empower our people. Forty-three families will have a stake in this economy. When you own a stake, you own the country, so I am very pleased.”
Premier and Minister of Finance Honourable Andrew Fahie thanked everyone and gave some historical context as to how the SSB came into existence and the importance of helping future generations. Premier Fahie went on to say, “There’s no better feeling at times, among other feelings, when you can own your first home. For those who are not in a position to go to the bank, now can now apply through this programme and be able to do so, this indeed is a historic occasion.”
Managing Director of James Todman Construction, Mr. James Todman thanked the SSB and the Government for choosing his company through the tendering process and stated that this is not the first time that confidence was placed in his company to deliver on this magnitude of a project. He pledged that his company will do its best and work with many other contractors so that everyone can be occupied at this time.
Photo 1: Minister for Natural Resources, Labour and Immigration Honourable Vincent Wheatley
Photo 2: (Left to Right sitting at the table): Premier and Minister of Finance, Honourable Andrew Fahie; Minister for Natural Resources, Labour and Immigration, Honourable Vincent Wheatley; Chairman of the SSB, Mr. Ian Smith; Director of the SSB, Ms. Antoinette Skelton; Managing Director of James Todman Construction, Mr. James Todman; Mr. Dion Stoutt of STO Enterprise Limited
Photo 3: Contracts being signed by the Chairman of the SSB, Mr. Ian Smith; the Director of the SSB, Ms. Antoinette Skelton and the Managing Director of James Todman Construction, Mr. James Todman
(Photo credit: GIS/R. Frazer)