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Co-operative housing project a ‘win-win’

Article taken from the Barbados TODAY News of 30th June 2022

Co-operative Investment Fund (CIF) has injected $1.5 million into the first Co-operative Investment Housing Project that has generated dozens of jobs and more than $5 million of revenue for credit unions that provided mortgages for homeowners.

During a tour of the housing project at Heritage Estates, Work Hall, St Philip, on Wednesday, President of the Fund Oriel Doyle told members of the media that the project had created residences for 12 lower-middle-income families and generated employment for over 30 people over the last six to nine months.

The houses were built under a contractual arrangement with the Property Development component of the CIF and Caribbean Housing Solutions Inc.

Among those at Work Hall, St. Philip this morning were (from left) Minister of State in the Ministry of Foreign Trade, Sandra Husbands, President of the Cooperative Investment Fund, Oriel Doyle, Director of Caribbean Housing Solutions, Renaldo White, Chairman of My Ready Cash, Keith Dower and Brent Gittens, acting Registrar, Co-operatives Societies

“We are not only employing people, but we are also bringing our projects to fruition within budget and with a quality that you would have seen that is probably second to none,” Doyle said.

“So this is the kind of thing that we want to do in the co-operative sector. By just simply pooling our resources, we can begin to identify specific areas of development that will help not only the individuals involved but will help the country and even generate foreign exchange when the opportunity comes.”

Doyle said that while the first housing project at Work Hall has already been sold out, investment has already been made in a South View, Christ Church project where 34 out of 36 lots have already been sold.

“So as soon as we put a project on the market, it is already snatched up. So we are looking now to identify a third project and this time for low-income persons, about 100 lots.

So all we require now is more investment and we provide a return of between three and five per cent of all investments in the Fund,” he explained.

“So everybody benefits – the individuals benefit from the homes, the credit unions benefit by providing mortgages for the homes, the individuals who invest in the Fund… benefit. So it’s a win-win situation for everyone involved.”

Minister of State in the Ministry of Foreign Trade and Business Sandra Husbands applauded the housing project, which she said provided much-needed housing for families who would ordinarily find difficulty accessing and affording mortgages.

“I am so proud of the fact that the Co-operative Society has been the engine, the agent that has enabled this to happen. If we are going to be inclusive financially as a society, where we are allowing ordinary Barbadians to be able to participate in whatever wealth generation opportunities there are, one of the few ways they have in which to succeed is to do it as a co-operative,” she said.

“Within our families, there is not sufficient in terms of assets, there is not sufficient in terms of expertise to really do a great job of hauling a number of Barbadians into wealth generation. The co-operatives provide the opportunity for that to happen where they can pool resources, they can pool technical expertise, and they can use their numbers to be able to negotiate what is necessary and needed to make the project work,” Minister Husbands added.

(AH)

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