September 5, 2014
Cabinet approves concessions for building materials, fixtures and fittings for apartments

People interested in developing accommodation specifically for foreign students and visitors are set to receive concessions from the Government.{{more}}

According to Prime Minister Dr Ralph Gonsalves, Cabinet last week agreed in principle, to offer special consideration to people who would like to build up rooms or improve their guest houses or build apartments.

“Cabinet has set up a committee to address this housing issue for foreign students and visitors, comprising representatives from the Tourism Authority which will chair, and include the Ministries of Education, Health, Works, National Security, Finance, Physical Planning and the Community College.”

The Prime Minister hinted that some changes would be made to the current law, which allows concessions only for buildings with five rooms and a common eating area.

“One of the things which we are going to put in place… you don’t have to have a common eating area, you can build the rooms self contained with a kitchenette… and you would get the concessions.

“And I want to drop the numbers from five, so somebody who has a house and in their yard they have more space and they want to build a three room, put on four rooms. Because I want more rooms for the number of students… and the numbers are increasing.”

The Prime Minister said that the new provisions would not be only for the construction of the apartments and homes, but also for the fixtures and fittings to be installed in the residences.

Gonsalves said that the initiative could be very lucrative, and could rival this country’s banana industry in its prime.

He said that it may not be as far reaching as the once lucrative agricultural trade, but it could have a great knock on effect.

“I want the people to appreciate how creative leadership can take you into a number of different areas,” the Prime Minister said.(JJ)