Six families mostly from the district of Mont Buxton received keys to their new houses yesterday after the Minister for Land Use and Housing Christian Lionnet had officially opened the Ex-Bibianne Housing Estate in that district.
Present at the ceremony were the Minister for Social Affairs, Community Development and Sports Vincent Meriton; the principal secretary for Land Use and Housing Joseph Francois and Yves Choppy, principal secretary for Project Planning and Implementation in the Ministry of Land Use and Housing; the chief executive of the Property Management Company (PMC), Timothy Sinon; the member of the National Assembly for Mont Buxton Sheryl Vangadasamy; district administrator Michelle Sabury and top officials of the PMC and the Ministry of Land Use and Housing.
The housing estate, which is on a small and compact land area of 537sqm, consists of one multi-storey block of six units, each with two bedrooms. The beneficiaries have been contributing towards the Government Home Saving Scheme Programme for several years now with two of them chosen by the ministry on compassionate ground. One is a recent fire victim and the other one a victim of domestic violence which has resulted in the family being homeless.
It has been funded entirely by the government of Seychelles at a cost of R3.9 million and took approximately two years to be completed.
In his address for the occasion, PS Francois said the government is selling the house and not renting them out to families. It is also subsidising the total cost from an estimated R650,000 per unit to R475,000 to make them more affordable to the tenants.
He said it forms part of the government’s principle for every Seychellois to own their own house.
“Today we are happy for two principal reasons. One we take part in those families’ happiness who have sacrified and waited for their own home. Secondly we know that these families are entering another stage in their lives where they will be living in a more comfortable environment,” he said.
He urged them to continue their repayment after allocation.
There are about 72 families in Mont Buxton who qualify for a house.
Ms Sabury said the Ex-Bibianne Ah-Kong Housing Estate is the smallest housing project the district has undertaken. She urged all tenants to practice tolerance, sharing and good living values.
The district’s MNA said even if the country went through a hard economic reform, the country and government have remained dedicated towards its social programmes and principles. And housing is one of them.
After the official opening and handing over of keys, both ministers, officials and new tenants toured the houses.