Appropriate, Affordable Housing

June 16, 2022by The Progressives

The Progressives’ Ambition


Home ownership has long been an essential part of the Caymanian dream.  Home ownership can help to give a family much-needed security and stability.  The family home is a place of safety for children as they learn, develop and grow in confidence.  The family home provides security as we move into old age. Owning your own home should be a realisable dream for Caymanian families.  For those Caymanians who, for whatever reason, are renting a home, rents need to be affordable.


The Current Situation


The previous Progressives administrations reinvigorated the work of the National Housing Development Trust.  New affordable housing schemes were delivered in East End and Bodden Town and land purchases were made for further schemes, including 24 acres in George Town. Stamp duty thresholds were raised to support more young, Caymanian first-time buyers.


Before the onset of the Covid Pandemic in 2020, then Minister Joey Hew, now Deputy Leader of the Progressives, spearheaded an initiative to find solutions to our housing challenges. The process started with a dedicated housing committee group of civil servants who engaged with more than 50 stakeholders to explore the housing challenges and to find potential solutions.  The Pandemic stopped that work, but the results still exist.


The PACT government has not built upon the Progressives’ work.  It has continued to make promises but has been slow to deliver.  In June 2022, Parliament passed a private member’s motion, proposed by Progressives MPs David Wight and Barbara Conolly, to further reduce stamp duty for all Caymanians, but especially first-time buyers.  For a year, the Government has failed to act on that motion, disadvantaging hundreds of Caymanians.


The Progressives’ Agenda for Action

  • Increase the number of affordable homes built by the National Housing Development Trust (NHDT) including development of the 24 acre plot in George Town
  • Develop more private sector affordable home rentals and home ownership schemes.
  • Reconsider the creation of one or more ‘social landlords’ in the rental market.
  • Reduce stamp duty in line with the approved private member’s motion including an increase in the First Time Caymanian Homeowners thresholds to allow homes costing up to $500K to be purchased duty-free and amounts above that to be charged at 2% duty; and reduction for all Caymanians purchasing property from 7.5% to 5%.
  • Immediately reinstate the housing committee group, and recommence their work with developers and others to find suitable housing solutions
  • Reintroduce, with local banks’ participation, an updated “Government Guaranteed Home Assistance Mortgage Scheme” and promote the separate “Build on Your Own Land scheme”.
  • Ensure all new NHDT homes are built to include energy conservation measures and to accommodate solar energy to reduce electricity costs for homeowners.
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