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SSB bought over 138 acres of land in last decade- Hon Wheatley

- purchase cost some $18.8M; Most of lands on Tortola
The Virgin Islands Social Security Board (SSB) has purchased in excess of 138 acres of land in the Territory over the past decade, Minister for Natural Resources and Labour responsible for Social Security, Honourable Vincent O. Wheatley (R9) has said. Photo: VINO/File
Social Security Board (SSB) owns several plots of land on Wickham's Cay, totaling some $2M, according to information disclosed in the House of Assembly on June 19, 2020. Photo: VINO/File
Social Security Board (SSB) owns several plots of land on Wickham's Cay, totaling some $2M, according to information disclosed in the House of Assembly on June 19, 2020. Photo: VINO/File
DUFF'S BOTTOM, Tortola, VI- The Virgin Islands Social Security Board (SSB) has purchased in excess of 138 acres of land in the Territory over the past decade, Minister for Natural Resources and Labour responsible for Social Security, Honourable Vincent O. Wheatley (R9) has said.

According to the list read out by the minister during the Tenth Sitting of the Second session of the Fourth House of Assembly (HoA) in Duff's Bottom, Tortola, on Friday, June 19, 2020, these properties are mostly on Tortola.

Properties

Minister Wheatley said land purchases were made in areas such as Long Trench, Spooner’s Estate, Joe’s Hill, Mount Sage among others.

He said SSB purchased a plot of land for $705,000 in Long Trench and four acres on Mount Sage for $325,000.

In Joe’s Hill, where the Joe’s Hill Manor will be located to provide ‘affordable’ housing for residents, lots were also acquired. Honourable Wheatley said the acquisition was made in 2016 when the SSB purchased 2.268 acres of land for $360,000 and 0.25 acres for $49,000.

Furthermore, the SSB also bought 2.268 acres of land in Sea Cows Bay for the price of $360,000.

4 plots of land bought on Wickham's Cay

In the meantime, the Board bought several pieces of property in Wickham’s Cay.

The first property was 0.164 acres for the price of $525,000, the second was 0.163 acres for $610,000, the third was 0.167 acres for $445,000, and the fourth was 0.167 acres for $550,000.

The SSB in addition, purchased10.01 acres of real estate in South Sound, Virgin Gorda for $1 million.

Land was also purchased by SSB in McNamara Estate, where some 7.4 acres was bought for $1.5 million.

In Butu Mountain, SSB acquired 9.69 acres of land for $1.69 million.

Minister Wheatley said land was also purchased in Georges Northside and Josiah’s Bay.

He concluded that the investments above came at a “total of 138.6 acres at the cost of 18,835,957.50.”

13 Responses to “SSB bought over 138 acres of land in last decade- Hon Wheatley”

  • ok (23/06/2020, 09:09) Like (6) Dislike (0) Reply
    Ok, I feel like something is missing. What was the point of the article?
  • mom (23/06/2020, 09:46) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
    investment
  • Slim Jim (23/06/2020, 09:58) Like (8) Dislike (0) Reply
    Am curious about those Wickham's Cays "purchases"... those are Crown leases that were redeemed from the persons who had rights to them. Based on the acreage, those were vastly inflated values... it appears that those costs represent the speculative value of what the properties may have been worth "if" they were properly developed (which they were not... as was the case for many years). Furthermore, many of those who have Crown leases on Wickham's Cay maybe haven't paid their annual lease dues to the Wickham's Cay Development Authority... if these properties fell into those categories, were these lost fees recouped prior to the sales?

    Smells like more money being thrown away to the already rich, who are benefitting from the land our ancestors sacrificed and fought hard to redeem... Noel Lloyd would be shamed if he were alive to see this.

    Don't trust your elected leaders to tell the whole truth... they always give half-truths, "spin" it, or seek to blame those who came before. Ask hard questions and demand transparency... whether NDP, VIP or any other party... they are there to benefit the COUNTRY, not themselves and selected friends.
  • Local (23/06/2020, 10:02) Like (24) Dislike (0) Reply
    I'm surprised by the amount of money that was spent on purchasing of property , never knew that the social security was in the real estate business with our money is this legal .
    • 2020 (23/06/2020, 11:02) Like (3) Dislike (0) Reply
      From what I can see it looks like they want to be able to make hefty profits in the future when they sell as the need arises to pay benefits. Real estate appreciates considerably over the years. And in one go, prices can fall sharply and dramatically in the case of a very weakened economy. So SSB should consider having a balance and evaluate where BVI is at this point in its economy. We could well return to a bird sanctuary once again and what will be the value of those lands?

      Remember these islands prospered in the slave/sugar industry then became a bird sanctuary and the so called wealthy left. Everything is for a season, for a time and it goes in cycles too.
    • @local (23/06/2020, 14:22) Like (1) Dislike (1) Reply
      SS invests your money so that it growsmultiplies and eventually pay out to you for eternity if you desire to live that long.
      What investments would you consider more approprite than purchasing local real estate or would you suggest they take your pittance of a contribution and place it in a jar .
      What are your choice for your personal investments .
  • @local (23/06/2020, 10:16) Like (8) Dislike (0) Reply
    Good question.... that’s why they always find a reason to not pay out on claims when individuals file! It’s always some Nancy story... you ain’t pay enough money into SS, or it hasn’t been paid, or you need to pay to get back something... crazy...
  • Citizen (23/06/2020, 10:25) Like (18) Dislike (0) Reply
    SSB buying land at those prices seem like a bail out for those property owners and not an investment for us. 7 acres for $1.5 mil. Means a half acre lot is $100,000. This warrants an investigation into how our retirement is being spent.
  • 2020 (23/06/2020, 11:03) Like (1) Dislike (2) Reply
    From what I can see it looks like they want to be able to make hefty profits in the future when they sell as the need arises to pay benefits. Real estate appreciates considerably over the years. And in one go, prices can fall sharply and dramatically in the case of a very weakened economy. So SSB should consider having a balance and evaluate where BVI is at this point in its economy. We could well return to a bird sanctuary once again and what will be the value of those lands?

    Remember these islands prospered in the slave/sugar industry then became a bird sanctuary and the so called wealthy left. Everything is for a season, for a time and it goes in cycles too.
  • priest (23/06/2020, 11:37) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
    I agree with the Hon Member It is high time that we give due respect to all of our elected members. But what happens when those persons who should lead look for opportunities like this to prove a point? I strongly believe that all our news sites are guilty of this.
  • Truth (23/06/2020, 13:07) Like (10) Dislike (0) Reply
    I hope the Social Security board have my $$$$$ if i live to see 65 yrs. I was told by Social Security Board that I cannot request a "payout". So that meant my hard earn $$$$ has been in their possession since my youthful days.

    TO SSB...with all those spending, make sure that our "hard earn money" is secured. The objective is to ensure that our money is "secured".

    Thank you.
  • Hmm (23/06/2020, 15:09) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
    AND YOUNG PEOPLE STILL CAN NOT GET
  • Tongue Fu (23/06/2020, 21:22) Like (21) Dislike (0) Reply
    The other issue here is that by SSB paying so high for these lands it carries the price of land up where the regular person will never be able to afford it. 620k for not even a 1/4 acre of land. I know it is prime land but wtf? Same thing happens when government pays these exorbitant rental prices. Ludicrous.

    i have no issues with SSB buying land to develop it or resale if it appreciates but the prices they are paying are far too exorbitant.


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