St. Eustatius

Most social housing occupants on St. Eustatius will see reduction in rent

One of the recently renovated units. Photo: Statia Government

ORANJESTAD- Tenants who rent from the Statia Housing Foundation (SHF) are set to save up to $1,200 a year with the approval by the island council of rent-related legislation.

As a result of an amendment to the Rent Tribunal and Rent Prices Ordinance, SHF will now use the statutory minimum wage instead of the old household income table to determine the amount of rent the tenants will pay. This will result in a reduction in rent, which will make a big difference for those most in need. 

“For example, a family with an annual household income of $17,000 will go from paying $251 per month to $145 per month. This saves those tenants that are really in need of help approximately $1,272 per year,” said Jacquil Pandt, managing director of the SHF. Those with annual income of $24,000 will see their rent fall from $307 to $280 a month. 

The foundation will soon begin the process of requesting income information from the tenants and adjusting the rents as of July 2024. 

Additionally, the adoption of the ordinance by the Island Council clears the path for the formal establishment of a Rent Tribunal in Statia, allowing for the local arbitration of disputes between the lessee and lessor.

The SHF and government also signed two agreements that are expected to improve the foundation’s efficiency and performance. The renovation contract now places responsibility for coordinating renovations with the SHF. Over the past year, the Statia Government had that responsibility, however the government believes this task should be best left to the foundation. As part of the agreement, the SHF is obligated to provide progress reports regarding the renovation to the government.

Performance agreement

In addition, the two sides signed a new performance agreement, done every year to ensure that the foundation is carrying out the work in the way it’s supposed to. As part of this agreement, the SHF is also obligated to provide quarterly reports. It’s also a condition under which the foundation will continue to receive government subsidies. The subsidy covers the difference between the actual rent and what the tenant pays. 

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