ROSEAU, Dominica -- Citizenship by investment (CBI) programmes are not usually associated with creating new affordable housing communities.
However, the Petite Savanne Resettlement Programme in Dominica is a ground-breaking scheme to rehouse residents displaced by Tropical Storm Erika in 2015. Funded entirely through the efforts of Montreal Management Consultants Est. (MMCE), the 340-home Bellevue Chopin development is being used as a model for future housing and infrastructure projects in the country.
Accessing funding can often be a barrier to commissioning new infrastructure, housing or civil engineering projects and CBI programmes are a reliable vehicle to secure commercial investment from the private sector for public sector projects.
Bellevue Chopin is likely to be the first in a series of new housing programmes announced by the Dominica government to be funded in this way.
Construction work on the project is now well underway. The purpose built, modern design, mixed-use scheme will feature underground utilities, solar water heaters and innovative solar powered street lights specially designed to ensure sustainable operation.
Some 180 families who lost their homes to Storm Ericka will move in once the development is completed at the end of 2017.
A range of additional purchase and home ownership options will also be made available to young professionals, with financial incentives such as low or zero interest loans and subsidised/accessible lease schemes.
Commenting on the development, project manager Christopher Timmins said: “We’re extremely proud of this project, which is showcasing what is possible in new developments from the contemporary design to the infrastructure and integrated technology.
“The government of Dominica has a requirement to build 1,000 homes to meet its long-term housing needs and this new development is an example of how being creative with project planning can give rise to complete new communities rather than isolated housing units.
“We have taken a very long term, holistic view to planning this scheme to ensure the inclusion of community and commercial space, outdoor recreational areas – there will be a football/cricket field and a farmers’ market.
“We are currently working with local contractors on site and we’re on track to finish the first phase by the end of this year.”
The government is in the process of setting up a registry for residents to lodge their interest in the scheme.