Four new social houses have been handed over to the Housing Unit.
Three of the homes are located in Davy Hill and a fourth in Lookout, each with an average cost of about 500,000 XCD due to additional construction adaptations to make them hurricane and earthquake resilient, said the Minister of Agriculture and Housing David Osborne.
On Monday morning, a handover ceremony was held at the Davy Hill Community Centre to celebrate the completion of the houses.
Head of Housing Eulyn Silcott-Greaves said the initial plan was to construct 11 homes to enable residents who have been living in temporary houses for more than 20 years to get permanent homes.
Following the relocation of residents to the North after volcanic eruptions forced movement from the devastated areas, 45 prefabricated houses were built in Davy Hill, in what was considered Phase 1. Over the years, Greaves said, there have been other housing initiatives such as the Davy Hill Regeneration Scheme.
There were 11 families on a 2005 critical housing list and this project was expected to provide homes for them, with a three million dollar allocation from DFID.
The 2017 tragedies across the region from the passage of Hurricanes Irma and Maria necessitated additional construction improvements noted Linda Dias, Chief Architect at the Public Works Department. These changes were done in consultation with a Check Consultant designated to the project by DFID.
Minister Osborne said there are a number of elements in the present designs which drove up costs. These include a double roof and two water heaters in the two-bedroom houses. The two-bedroom homes, which have a square footage of 1044 also have one and a half bathrooms.
The expectation is that the home designs will be adjusted before any additional housing projects are submitted and constructed.
Mrs Lenora John, originally from St. Georges Hill recalled the numerous relocations over the years, including spending two years living at the Brades Primary School until 1998 before being allocated space at the Davy Hill temporary housing project. John has lived in the temporary wooden structures for more than 20 years. She is thankful that she will now be in a more secure home.
There are currently more than 45 people on a waiting list for low income homes shared the Minister of Housing. With incomes of less than 1500 per month, they are unable to build without additional support.
Gross Square Footage: 1,044SF (2 bedrooms, 1.5 bathrooms)
Cost per Square Foot: USD 175.18 [ XCD 473.44 ] (Includes External Works)
Cost of 1044SF house USD 182,892.53 [ XCD 494,276.21 ] Calculated Average Cost Per
DESIGN CRITERIA & LOADINGS
Building Codes ASCE-16, IBC 2015, IRC 2015, Montserrat Building Code
Seismic Design Yes; Category D (High Risk), Occupancy Category II
Wind Loading Per Code 182mph (Saffir-Simpson Strong Category 5 Hurricane)