Ministry of Transport and Housing signs ceremonial MOU for The Renaissance At Carmichael with Simplified Lending Ltd and PROVEN Wealth Limited. Pictured (l-r): Ian Rutherford, Simplified Lending Ltd.; Robert Pantry, Founder and CEO, Simplified Lending Ltd.; Jobeth Coleby-Davis, Minister of Transport and Housing; Prime Minister Philip Davis; Johann Heaven, President, PROVEN Wealth Limited; Luwanna Williams, Assistant Vice President, Investment Banking PROVEN Wealth Limited; Christopher Williams, Cofounder & CEO PROVEN Management Limited. Photos by Cay Focus Photography.
Housing Minister Signs Historic Agreement for 200-homes for Phase I in the Renaissance at Carmichael Housing Development
Minister of Transport and Housing the Hon. JoBeth Coleby-Davis signed an historic funding agreement today paving the way for a groundbreaking in the coming weeks for a 365-lot subdivision off Carmichael Road consisting of up to 200 homes in its first phase.
The signing took place in the Office of the Prime Minister during a full-court press conference that included a video of the 70-acre development, site drawings and the unveiling of a community that the Minister referred to as setting a new standard in affordable housing.
“We are gathered here today to witness the signing of an historic agreement between the Government of The Bahamas and our private sector partners to create a magnificent new community aptly named The Renaissance at Carmichael,” said Coleby-Davis. “The Renaissance will set a new standard in housing through a public private partnership with government seeding the dream of home ownership by deeding Crown Land and the private sector harvesting the dream by funding start-up and facilitating financing as well as building single family homes and condominiums.”
The project, originally known as Carmichael Village, was conceived in 2007. Despite 15 years of starts and stops, it is now set for quick pace completion. Infrastructure, including roads, electricity, water, and sewer, has been completed for Phase I.
Immediately following the start of the work in Phase II, the bidding process will get underway for phases three and four to progress simultaneously.
“This is indeed a cause for celebration as the government continues to fulfill its promise to bring the reality of home ownership to more deserving Bahamians,” said Coleby-Davis. The project includes eight condominium buildings with 12 units each and 104 two- and three-bedroom single family residences. All buildings have a durable, mold-resistant, long-lasting steel frame system construction, storm-rated doors and windows and there are options for renewable energy, landscaping, appliance, and furniture packages. The housing development is intended to be a complete community where garbage is collected on time, parks and green spaces are well kept, security is provided, and the subdivision is managed and kept at the highest standard.
Simplified Lending, the three-year-old local firm that quickly grew to the largest mortgage and money brokering firm in The Bahamas, partnered with PROVEN Wealth Limited, a subsidiary of the PROVEN Group of Companies, a premier regional income and growth strategy holding company listed on the Jamaica Stock Exchange, to provide funding.
Simplified Lending founder and CEO Robert Pantry called PROVEN Wealth Limited “a progressive company that is the perfect partner for a project where the financing component is a real game-changer.” Pantry noted that his agency has been able to work with several local financial institutions to provide the end user with a mortgage factoring in the market value of the home which is higher than the purchase price. He stated that the built-in equity that comes from the land being sold at below market value and exemptions on customs duties for construction materials, under this unique mortgage arrangement “allows successful applicants tom bundle existing debt, freeing up cash and better qualifying for a home because of a more favorable debt service ratio.”
Minister Coleby-Davis said there was a sense of excitement regarding the initiative.
“We feel such a sense of joy knowing there are well-lit streets, sidewalks, a community park, a neighborhood where children can play safely and neighbors can get to know one another and connect, just as our families did so many years ago when we enjoyed that sense of community,” said the Minister. “We are not building houses; we are nurturing dreams.”
Minister Coleby-Davis advised that the Government’s affordable housing program will be spread throughout The Bahamas, noting that the Ministry is in the process of building houses in Grand Bahama, Abaco and Eleuthera and assessment trips are planned for Exuma, Andros and Cat Island and other islands where there is a demand.
Prospective homeowners can apply online at the ministry’s website: www.mothbahamas.com.