The United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS)
New agreement to build 10,000 affordable homes in the Caribbean
The landmark initiative aims to ease demand for housing across small islands in the Caribbean.
UNOPS is partnering with the government of Antigua and Barbuda and the private sector to launch an innovative affordable housing programme that will create jobs and opportunities for local communities.
Over ten years, UNOPS – through its Sustainable Infrastructure Impact Investment (S3I) initiative – and Sustainable Housing Solutions (SHS) will utilize construction technology that promotes sustainability, resilience, disease control and use of renewable energy to develop 10,000 affordable homes.
“UNOPS vision to expand its development programme to the islands of the Caribbean is perfectly aligned with the region’s vision for economic, social and cultural prosperity, driven by knowledge, excellence, innovation and productivity," said Prime Minister of Antigua and Barbuda, Gaston Browne.
"This is a welcomed project that will increase the nation’s affordable housing stock and complement the large-scale housing initiatives undertaken by the government thus far. Affordable housing will not only satisfy an extremely high demand for quality, durable homes but will also improve the living standards for many across the region,” added Prime Minister Browne.
As part of a broader programme to construct and distribute low-cost and resilient housing materials across the Caribbean, homes will have energy-efficient solar panels, waste-to-energy technology and mosquito-repellent coating. In total, the agreement aims to develop at least 3,000 homes in Antigua and Barbuda and 7,000 homes in neighbouring Small Island Developing States.
Prime Minister Browne has committed to support this project among other leaders of the sub-region. A sea transport service will also be set up to ensure building materials can reach islands where homes are constructed. The project will also include steps to help government employees get on the housing ladder, through a payroll deduction model.
This is an important project for Antigua and Barbuda and the Caribbean. Building houses that are sustainable and affordable will allow more people to own their own quality homes and will help stimulate the local economy in the process. This project will bring new jobs, offering workers opportunities to develop their skills and learn new trades."
The agreement will make yet another tangible contribution to the country’s strategic development priorities.
“Following our successful collaboration with the Prime Minister’s government in the field of innovation and technology, we will now embark on rolling out an even more ambitious initiative aimed at meeting one of the most crucial Sustainable Development Goals in the domain of affordable housing, and enabling both high-quality resilient construction and provision of sustainable mortgage financing,” said Vitaly Vanshelboim, Assistant Secretary-General and Chief Executive of UNOPS Sustainable Infrastructure Impact Investments (S3I).
"We believe that it is the right of all people to live in safety and dignity. Home ownership is the cornerstone to the creation of stable and productive communities. It is our privilege to participate in a noble and worthwhile initiative of this kind,” said SHS Chairman Dr. Allen Zimbler.
Read more about UNOPS S3I initiative here.