Residents of affordable homes on July Street in Windsor Park in George Town are happy to be home.
On Tuesday, Cayman Islands government officials and the National Housing Development Trust held a small ceremony to welcome homeowners back into the Grand Cayman neighbourhood and hand over the keys.
Showing a picture of her first home constructed of aluminium with specially insulated foam panels, with a marmarand finish before it was torn down for redevelopment to concrete, homeowner Julie Brown said it felt good to be back home.
Homeowners were temporarily relocated due to major reconstruction to get the homes up to standard. Since 1 July, 26 homeowners, along with lease clients, have been relocated back to the new houses.
“It means a lot to see the homes here and the 26 families living in them,” said George Town Member of the Legislative Assembly Ellio Solomon. “We have made progress, but it is still a long road ahead.”
Mr. Solomon also made mention of trying to get additional funding, so more families may occupy homes.
Addressing the small gathering, Cabinet Minister Mike Adam said there were a number of families who could not afford a home and they were hard-working people. But sometimes a lot of things are just outside their reach – like affording a house, he said.
He said banks would discuss mortgage availability and qualifications for those who know that they would rather be putting their hard earned money into a house than pay rent.
“With stronger foundations, proper sustainability and more functionality, these newly designed homes will serve as humble abodes for these families to enjoy,” he said.
All of the residents expressed appreciation. Homeowner Valma McField, who shares a three-bedroom house with husband, Robert, said she appreciated moving back home and was taking her time to fix up her place.
“I feel so at home,” she said. “Where I used to live is not like being in your own home. We cannot complain about what the government has done. My husband is a born Caymanian who struggled hard all his life and we are happy we got this opportunity, it was a good deal, something we can take our time and manage.”