First CIP-financed housing project in Dominica nears completion

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By Caribbean News Now contributor

ROSEAU, Dominica — The innovative project in Dominica to provide affordable houses in Bellevue Chopin to house displaced residents of Petite Savanne following Tropical Storm Erika, which has been financed through the country’s citizenship by investment programme (CIP), is on track for the handover of the first completed units at the end of next month.

“This unique and highly successful project illustrates the social benefits that can accrue to the public at large from Dominica’s economic citizenship programme, especially in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria last year and Tropical Storm Erika in 2015,” said project developer, Dr Anthony Haiden, chairman of citizenship consultants Montreal Management Consultants Est (MMCE) Ltd.

The project commenced in January 2017 but prevented from delivering the first 201 housing units in January 2018 as planned, due to the passage of Hurricane Maria on September 18, 2017.

Haiden said that, in planning this project, MMCE paid careful attention to the vulnerabilities of Dominica to weather events and employed suitable technology and best practice in the construction of the new community. For this reason, the project suffered no physical impact as a result of Hurricane Maria.

Since then, construction activities have been fully resumed with the return of the international contractor’s full workforce, although they are still planning to increase their labour on site by an additional 25 percent above that prior to the hurricane within the next few days, bringing the workforce to some 400, including locals.

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Approximately 80 percent of the concrete structures are now completed and roofing and interior fitting out is underway. The project is on target to commence handing over the first residences on August 31, 2018.

It is anticipated that over an eight-week period commencing August 31, 91 residential units will be handed over.

A further 102 residences will be handed over commencing late December 2018 and the remaining units in March 2019. The units will be turned over on a road by road basis as they become available.

To help alleviate the critical shortage of housing resulting from Hurricane Maria, which was estimated to have destroyed or damaged some 90 percent of the existing housing stock, MMCE has agreed with the government of Dominica to expand the Bellevue Chopin project to provide more residential units, additional infrastructure, and facilities.

In addition, a number of other new, modern and climate-resilient communities will be constructed, all financed by the citizenship programme, which, in addition to the planned 340 residences at Bellevue Chopin, will provide another 601 affordable homes for the people of Dominica.

Work has already started on several of the new projects:

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Castle Bruce: 66 residences

Site demolition and clearing of the site is completed. The areas of the building have been filled and compacted ready to receive the foundations, which are presently ongoing. Completion of this site will be in May 2019.

La Plaine: 66 residences

This site has provided challenges with the need to remove 8,000 m3 of rock but that operation is now complete. Both footprints of the buildings have been completed and formation of ground beams and raft is now taking place. This site is scheduled for completion in June 2019.

Grand Fond: 66 residences

Site A has been cleared and reduced to the required level, and soil stabilisation was due to commence on July 23. permission to access the Grand Fond site B is still awaited. The site is scheduled for completion July 2019.

San Sauveur: 66 residences

The access road to the site is under construction, along with clearing trees and vegetation. The site is scheduled for completion October 2019.

Delices: 66 residences

The site has been cleared and initial setting out and location of the buildings is presently taking place. The site is scheduled for completion in October 2019.

Roseau City Square: 100 residential units and 50 commercial units

Site access is scheduled in September 2018. MMCE is, however, in conjunction with the housing ministry looking at reducing the number of blocks due to logistical problems.
The feasibility of developing the river bank in Roseau as an alternative site for some of the blocks from Roseau City Square is being considered. The schedule to construct four blocks is 14 months.

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George Town: 68 residences

Site clearing and levelling is taking place. The site is scheduled for completion in July 2019.

Cotton Hill: 68 residences

Site clearing and infrastructure works will commence at the end of this month. Residence construction is scheduled for November following release of formwork systems from George Town. The site is scheduled for completion in November 2019.

These projects will support and implement the government’s vision of a transformed Dominica where the Dominican people are living in durable, sustainable, and hurricane-resilient houses.

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2 COMMENTS

  1. I always say that I am politically neutral. I love Dominica but I do not live there and have no right to vote on who governs. I can comment objectively on events unfolding and agree or disagree with actions taken by the government or the opposition.

    Now, this article published in the Caribbean News is evidence that a country needs an opposition and a strong one at that. It baffles me that Dominicans do not want the opposition to oppose when that is their job. An opposition must question the government, they must make them accountable and they must put pressure on the government to keep the government transparent and honest.

    Before the opposition began putting pressure on the government about the sale of passports, did Dominicans hear from the government about passport sales, the monies being made, and how it was being used? No, it was top secret and we had no idea how much was being made and what the money was being used for. Since the opposition began doing their job and began asking for answers , voila, some level of transparency. The government is now openly talking of passport sales money and where some is going.

    If anyone reads this post in Dominica and have been among those wanting to silence the opposition, please stop. I do not care who the opposition is, they have a role to play. Let them do their job. The constitution demands it. That’s why there is a section in parliament for the opposition. The speaker must allow them their time to speak in the house. They should not be arrested, threatened or intimidated. Dominica is a democracy after all, unless something fundamentally changed while my back was turned. Just take a look at European Parliamentary proceedings, Dominica’s opposition are kittens compared to these parliamentarians.

    So good work Opposition and good job government for undertaking a project that directly benefits the people.
    Government is about putting the people first.

    I also believe that at the end of every fiscale year the government should make public exactly how much money was made in passport sales. The passports do belong to the Dominican people, or don’t they.

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