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Feb 6, 2020

A Building Series Workshop Wraps Up in Belize City

About two months ago we showed you the start of a series of workshops called the ‘Municipal Building Unit Awareness Workshop Series.’  The Ministry of Housing, along with its partners, conducted country-wide workshops with municipal level building units and stakeholders in building and construction. The workshops are to discuss processes needed to get approval to build in Belize. The series wrapped up today in Belize City. Here’s more from Belize City Deputy Mayor Oscar Arnold.

 

Oscar Arnold

Oscar Arnold, Deputy Mayor, Belize City Council

“The Belize City Council, being the municipal body here in Belize City, is collaborating with the Economic Development Unit, Local Government and Ministry of Housing and Urban Development. So, what is happening is that whenever you want to do any construction or alter your building in any form or matter, you used to have to apply for a permit and that used to be handled through the Central Building Authority. At that time, the municipal bodies had what used to be called local building authorities. In 2017, an MOU was signed where this responsibility would have been shared over to all municipalities. But there was a transitional period where municipalities had to ensure that they had technical capacity and technical people in house to be able to do that. Today what is happening is that all those agencies are coming together to put out the information to realtors, financial institutions, insurance companies, contractors and anybody who is in that field or stake in the  construction industry. One of the feedback is that now because the work load is shared, meaning that if before if you were constructing in PG, you had to wait until the CBA sent an inspector all the way there that is based in Belize City. Now you can do that through the PG Town Council, so it cuts down time. Also, the information gathered here and the way things are working is to ensure that the way things are working is to ensure that laws, building codes and construction codes keep changing and keep relevant. We want to ensure that the housing stocks that people are constructing now are climate resilient and can stand up to flooding and hurricanes. Safety of people and safety of life are of paramount importance and if we can get it right from the construction phase then we are ahead of the game.”


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