St. Eustatius

Statia Signs MOU with Woonlinie/BZK for Social Housing

Government Commissioner Marcolino (Mike) Franco signing the agreement in the precesenc of Ricardo Fortin Sr. (Managing Director SHF), Maarten Koster (Woonlinie) Richard Hagedoorn (BZK) Marcel van Dijck (Woonlinie)

Kralendijk- The Statia (interim) Government has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on Friday, May 17th, with the Dutch Housing Association, Woonlinie and BZK to start a pilot for the improvement of social housing on St. Eustatius.

The goal is to construct a minimum of five homes annually until there are about 50 new low income homes on St. Eustatius. Apart from the building of new housing unites, the plan also entails the renovation of all existing 95 existing homes of St. Eustatius Housing Foundation (SHF) have been renovated.

The Public Entity wants to achieve this goal by starting the first pilot to renovate an existing home and construct two new homes in Golden Rock.

By starting a pilot the parties involved are able to explore future possibilities for further cooperation. The current stock of social housing on St. Eustatius is in urgent need of repair and upgrading and there are too little affordable houses.

The Housing Foundation nor the Public Entity are in the position to fund on the renovation and expansion their own, due to limited resources. A major advantage of the MOU is that both Woonlinie and BZK will invest the monies in the construction of both the new construction and the renovation of existing housing unites.

According to information from Statia Government, Woonlinie will work with one main contractor and with local contractors as much as possible.

Rent subsidy

The Ministry of BZK and local Government believe it is important to have a subsidy for those persons who cannot afford to cover the costs of rents due to a relatively low income. That is why BZK, together with local government is working on a system that provides for housing benefits (subsidy) in the future. Government is also working with the Ministry on a new rental price regulation.

The first results of this pilot project will be visible in the fourth quarter of 2019/or the first quarter of 2020. If the pilot is a success, all 95 social houses will be renovated and approximately 50 new houses will be built.

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