Statia breaks ground for “Opportunity” social housing units

A ground-breaking ceremony took place on Monday, July 15th, marking the beginning of work on two new social housing units in the Golden Rock district on Statia.

Breaking ground by Deputy Government Commissioner Alida Francis, Director Social Affairs Carol Jack, Director Liccom Henk van der Heuvel Director and Director Social Housing foundation Statia Jacquil Pandt.
Breaking ground by Deputy Government Commissioner Alida Francis, Director Social Affairs Carol Jack, Director Liccom Henk van der Heuvel Director and Director Social Housing foundation Statia Jacquil Pandt. Woonlinie was unable to attend due to Covid 19 travel restrictions.

The units play a crucial role in the renewal of existing social housing units, as persons living in homes that are being renovated can move in temporarily. This project is part of a broader effort to improve social housing on the island. A total of 95 existing homes will be renovated and the goal is to build a total of 50 new homes to relieve the need on the housing market.

The “Opportunity” project was named after a boat that was parked on the plot of land. The houses will be placed next to each other under one roof, each house will have a spacious open floorplan with kitchen, dining room and living room. One of the houses will be a three-bedroom home and the other will be a two-bedroom home. The property the houses will be built on will be split in two and the homes will each have a garden. After completion of the houses tenants of Statia Housing Foundation and the Statian community will have a chance to view the homes in an open house.

Currently there is a high demand for social housing on the island of St. Eustatius. Woonlinie (Dutch housing corporation), the Ministry of the Interior and Kingdom Relations (BZK) and the Public Entity of St. Eustatius (OLE) are working together to create affordable social housing for the residents who need it. The ground-breaking of these two “Opportunity” homes brings achieving that goal one step closer.

The project has been commissioned by the housing corporation Woonlinie and funded by the Ministry of the Interior and Kingdom Relations (BZK). The units are to be completed in the first half of 2021 provided there are no unforeseen circumstances. The property will be managed by the Statia Housing Foundation (SHF). After a public tender the project was awarded to contractor LICCOM Statia NV. The construction of the units is perceived as an example for future constructions, to see if the houses meet local demands and are financially viable.