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Sep 29, 2021

New Housing Program in Pilot Phase

One hundred and fifty Belizeans are in the process of becoming home owners, as the Ministry of Infrastructure Development and Housing launches its housing pilot program. The Briceno Administration, under Plan Belize, has committed to building ten thousand starter homes. Yes, building one hundred and fifty is a far cry from ten thousand  and in a difficult economy, ministries are pinching pennies. But, with the high demand, and need, it’s a start.  News Five’s Paul Lopez visited four housing sites today in two different districts to file the following report.


Paul Lopez, Reporting

Desiree Diego, a single mother with two children at home, qualified for a one bedroom, studio home under the Ministry of Infrastructure Development and Housing pilot program.


Desiree Diego

Desiree Diego, Dangriga Resident

“My heart is full. I am very very happy. To be honest, this comes like a miracle and I am happy for all the help that I am getting. The house is more than what I expected it was going to be. Most of all, I most of all this is why I am happy for the help I am getting from the Government and the Ministry of Housing.”


The Ministry selected one hundred and fifty applicants they consider to be in urgent need of adequate shelter. Like, Carla Chavez, a single mother from Sarawee Village with a two year old daughter.


Carla Chavez

Carla Chavez, Sarawee Resident

“I have an almost to be two year old child. This will help me to become more independent, more stable. It is something that I have always wanted, a home of my own. Something to help me educate my child, knowing that the things I went through and how difficult it is.”


Both of their homes are at foundation, with an expected completion time of eight weeks for the entire process.  In the City of Belmopan, iive homes are currently being constructed. There we spoke to architect Jose Monterosa.


Jose Monterosa, Architect, Zone 2

“Right now we are in Salvapan area, Belmopan. There are four houses being carried out in this area specifically. All the owners are private owners of the lot itself. We are initiating with the phase number one, which is the studio version. The reason being is that this house is intended to evolve into four different phases, right now it is phase number one. As, you can see, it is wall level right now. We are going up to beams. The intention for phase number one, and eventually move on to phase number two, is that people can have a house they can rely on and it is sturdy enough to withstand hurricane weather.”


The fifth house being built in the City of Belmopan is located in the Maya Mopan Area. Contractors there are preparing to install the roofing.  But, the beauty of this studio home is in the finished product. The only completed home, to date, is located in Roaring Creek Village. With electrical and plumbing installed, landscaping completed, doors and windows inserted, and fresh paint on the walls, this house is ready for its new owner. And, while this may not seem like much luxury to some,  Publicity Manager at the Ministry Marisa Alamilla describes it as a saving grace for the first one hundred and fifty recipients.


Marisa Alamilla

Marisa Alamilla, Publicity Manager, Ministry of Infrastructure Development and Housing

“The truth is that all hundred and fifty applicants that have been approved for this part of the project, starter run, are extreme need cases. Some of these women live in homes that the roof is falling in with children, with no running water, no electricity, in dire conditions. Some of them are in domestic situations that they need an out. So, it covered quite a bit of ground. We tried to look at men who are disabled who can’t do from themselves, not because they don’t want to, simply because they are limited.”


Alamilla says, each structure is costing the Ministry thirty to thirty five thousand dollars to complete. Each recipient will sign an agreement to pay twenty five dollars weekly towards owning the house.


Paul Lopez

“At a hundred dollars a month, twelve hundred dollars a year, if we estimate the owners paying that off, we estimate it to be a couple of decades. How much of that cost does the Ministry absorb and how much does the owner pay?”


Marisa Alamilla

“Those decisions are made in Cabinet Mr. Lopez. That is not my decision at all. Right now we have been instructed that we are to tell the recipient that there is a twenty five dollar a week charge. And, they will sign an agreement based on that.”



“What do you think about the payment plan and that the government is requesting you carry a part of the burden?”


Carla Chavez

“Well, the payment plan, the scheduled something around, they gave me a wage that I could afford, so I have a job and I think that will be not a problem for me paying it off so.”


Reporting for News Five, I am Paul Lopez.

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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