The Minister with responsibility for Housing and Urban Renewal said that he is pushing ahead with plans to increase the housing stock and make land more affordable in Saint Lucia.
Hon. Guy Joseph, Minister for Economic Development, Housing, Urban Renewal, Transport and Civil Aviation said a recent study revealed the island was well below its required housing stock.
The minister was at the time addressing various areas under his portfolio, during a press conference that was broadcast live on NTN, on Tuesday, Oct. 23.
“In the last twenty years I would say we’ve not had any major housing developments in Saint Lucia. In fact, the reports are showing that there’s a lot of demand for housing in Saint Lucia.”
The minister told reporters that he was working with the Ministry of Planning and other entities to address this issue, as well as the requirements for land development that was pushing the cost beyond the reach of many Saint Lucians.
“We complain about the price of land in Saint Lucia and how it impacts the average Saint Lucian to be able to afford a piece of land. But what is happening is that we have created our own system that makes the price of land prohibitive for locals. I can tell you anybody can buy land at 50 cents a square foot by the time they are completed with the developmental cost it may be 10 and 12 dollars a square foot so that is something that needs to be revisited and I have looked at it from the standpoint of the Ministry of Planning, WASCO, LUCELEC and all of the entities and a lot of rules that we have there that we can do away with in terms of reducing the cost.”
Minister Guy Joseph went on to say that while government cannot legislate the price of land since most land sold is privately owned, government can create an enabling environment to make land more accessible to Saint Lucians.
Hon Guy Joseph said he will continue to press on with initiatives that will make it possible for every Saint Lucian desirous of owning a piece of Saint Lucia to be able to do so, and to place more emphasis on urban renewal as well.