SSB inks Agreement for First Time Home Owners Programme
The development agreement for the First Time Home Owners Programme was signed by James Todman, Sr and Larry Adams, on behalf of JTC and LAC respectively, and Director of the Social Security Board Antoinette Skelton. Witnessing the momentous signing were Mr Ian S. Smith, Chairman of the Social Security Board, along with Board members, Messrs Anghel George and Simon Potter, and Ms Vereen Vanterpool.
JOE’S HILL HOUSING DEVELOPMENT
The Joe’s Hill Housing Development carries a contract sum of $11,150,612.00. The development comprises of approximately 7.054 acres of land to include a collection of 43 homes ranging from one to three bedrooms in condos and single family homes. The development encompasses scenic views and will boast a gym, a playground, commercial and green spaces and ample parking.
The Chairman of the Social Security Board hailed the signing as a proud moment for the Virgin Islands and the Social Security Board as the investment will enable Virgin Islanders and Belongers to own their own home thus creating the opportunity for individual wealth building.
Mr Smith pointed out that the development will also stimulate the economy through the creation of hundreds of jobs and the circulation of money throughout the economy by the multiplier effect.
Director Skelton said that over 100 persons have expressed an interest in purchasing a home through the Social Security housing development initiative and that the Board is committed to advance the housing project to other areas of the Territory.
Speaking on behalf of joint venture team, JTC/LAC, Mr Todman pledged his commitment to constructing the housing development in a timely manner, with quality and professionalism.
The Virgin Islands Social Security has a long history of investments in real estate internationally, such as Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. The First Time Home Owners initiative will be no different. The Social Security Board, as part of its Investment Policy, has the capacity to invest anywhere from 10% to 20% of the Social Security Reserve Fund into the local economy. Previously, these investments took the form of large scale infrastructure and capital development financing. Given the pressures on interest rates and returns on investments, the Social Security Board looked at an alternative investment strategy that would increase the portfolio’s return while stimulating the economy and ensuring the long term viability of the Social Security Fund.
The Chairman of the Board is assuring contributors that the Social Security Board will not be assuming the risk of the development as the end financing for the relevant individual mortgages will be done through the local banks. The Board expects to see returns of 7% to 12% on the local real-estate development investments.
The Social Security Reserve Fund currently stands at approximately $580 million with $192 million invested in US and Global equities; $206 million invested in fixed income and convertible fixed income; $80 million in local credit and equity investments; and $98 million in CD’s and cash at local banks.