Developers West Indies Home Contractors (WIHCON) say that they will be delivering 200 two-bedroom houses at the Silver Sun housing development in St Catherine by March next year, representing the first instalment of a three-year deal that will see the company building 1,200 such dwellings.
WIHCON CEO Delroy Alcott says that the Silver Sun housing development in the fast-growing community of Innswood on the outskirts of Spanish Town, St Catherine, will be the latest effort to satisfy the underserved low-to-medium-income housing market. He says that the company would not be placing them directly on the market, but rather will be working with one client.
“We have one customer in the NHT (National Housing Trust) and they will use their guaranteed purchase-price arrangement so they will take up all 1,200 units that we build,” Alcott said.
The Silver Sun housing development was originally to be piloted by Silversun Homes Limited, a Jamaican registered company with Canadian ties, which was incorporated in 2013. Despite advertisements and initial activity from as far back as 2017, the development did not get off the ground until WIHCON took a majority stake in Silversun Homes.
“They were looking for a local partner, we heard about it, did our due diligence and decided to jump in. So it’s a partnership between ourselves and the original Canadian company. We came on board and bought out majority stake in the company,” Alcott said.
Preparatory work has started, and each unit in the gated community will be 770 square feet with two bedrooms and one bath, with space for expansion on 4,000 square feet of land. WIHCON will use a cast-in-place system for construction of all the units. Such a system utilises portable metal forms that are locked together on location before concrete is poured in. The system helps for faster delivery, lower costs, and more efficient resource utilisation.
Alcott has declined to comment on the cost of the houses, insisting that there are other considerations that might come into play by delivery date.
“I don’t know if the price we’re delivering at is one we would want to divulge at this time since there may be other considerations on the part of the NHT,” Alcott said.
He says that the development will come with typical amenities such as a mini-mart, a club house, and common areas for recreation. Water will be provided by the National Water Commission, and an existing mechanical sewerage plant will be upgraded.
Alcott also declined to comment on the level of investment, but says WIHCON would “spend significant sums on the development with financing from several partners.”
As to the three-year timeline for delivery of the units, Alcott said: “We want to be careful in how we programme deliveries. It makes no sense putting 2,000 houses on the market at a time when the market is not in a position to take them.”