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Sep 30, 2020

Julius Espat Explains the P.U.P.’s Housing Policy

Julius Espat

Earlier in the newscast we told you about the P.U.P.’s plan to build ten thousand starter homes for first time home owners. That plan will only come to fruition is they are successful at the polls in November. The starter homes will be built in five phases and eligible Belizeans will be given the opportunity to construct and own their house. This, however, will not be free. While the P.U.P. intends to contribute, the applicant must also spend. Cayo South area representative, Julius Espat explains.


Julius Espat, Area Rep., Cayo South

“What we are proposing is not something ridiculously expensive. We are trying to cooperate with the homeowner.  Housing is a human right. We have to find whatever it takes for people to have a decent house. In the past where I said we have failed, both governments have failed by trying to build middle class home for starter homes and then what happened is that people can’t afford the mortgage. The idea of using vernacular material is something that we have to start using what we have in the country. I was telling the Party Leader that white lime is for example is a product of construction. It is one the materials that is used in the region but we don’t use it in Belize. If you notice in Belize we use cement and water and plaster with it but white lime is here and we don’t use to the level that we need to. The use of vernacular material does not mean that you are minimizing resistance to wind or resistance to seismic movement. The houses depending on where they are located will be evaluated as to which type and which material can be utilized. Vernacular material does not means that it is vernacular for the entire country. It is vernacular for specific region.  Everybody has to pay. Even the homeowner to a certain extent has to be eligible to be able to get a financing agreement with a credit union.”



“So what is the extent though?”


Julius Espat

“Well that depends on when the project is laid out. We are in the initial phases of looking at the project itself. Then we are linking up with another committee that is dealing with the financial aspect of it. If it would be me personally and we can afford to give the materials of the people I would tell you right away that would be the case. But in all reality that might not be the case always but there are options. The guarantee is that at least the initial stage we will increase the minimum wage so that everybody is at a certain level. Let’s assume that a house of that type to start it in the local market right now will cost fifteen to twenty thousand dollars, just assume. If you minimize the labour aspect of it you are minimizing nearly fifty percent of the cost and then if government can contribute that the supervision is free, that the planning is free and that you will be able to get a subsidize cost on your materials that will minimize a next twenty five percent of the fifty percent. I think that is deal and Belizeans have to understand that you can’t get everything free.”

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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