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Gov’t needs to buy out SSB homes @ Joe’s Hill Manor– Hon Marlon A. Penn

-says too much of the Social Security monies tied up in the properties with no returns
Opposition Member, Hon Marlon A. Penn (R8) has called on the Government of the Virgin Islands to come up with a solution for the Social Security-funded homes at Joe’s Hill Manor given they continue to depreciate and many have not been sold. Photo: Internet Source
Hom Penn was at the time a guest on the November 13, 2023, edition of the Talking Points radio show on ZBVI 780am on the subject of social homes in the Virgin Islands. Photo: Facebook
Hom Penn was at the time a guest on the November 13, 2023, edition of the Talking Points radio show on ZBVI 780am on the subject of social homes in the Virgin Islands. Photo: Facebook
BAUGHERS BAY, Tortola, VI – Opposition Member Hon Marlon A. Penn (R8) has called on the Government of the Virgin Islands to come up with a solution for the Social Security-funded homes at Joe’s Hill Manor given they continue to depreciate and many have not been sold.

Hon Penn was at the time a guest on the November 13, 2023, edition of the Talking Points radio show on ZBVI 780 AM on the subject of social homes in the Virgin Islands. 

“As relates to the Joes’s Manor, I have suggested, and it was my position when I was minister, that we need to take those things over from Social Security. We have too much of Social Security money tied up in those assets, depreciating assets if you ask me,” he told the show’s co-host on the topic of social housing.

“They are there earning no appreciation.. tied up there, not just the homes that were built [but] the land there's over 20 million [dollars] in land that Social Security owns that just is not earning any interest and not earning any value for the people,” he said.

Hon Penn said for monies invested by Social Security, the Board should be getting returns on its investments.

Buy homes from SSB - Hon Penn 

“So we need to get those assets off the hands of Social Security… The government needs to buy it out from Social Security and then figure out how to get persons into those homes in an effective way,” he said.

Meanwhile, Hon Penn said the Government should also look into providing housing for persons who fall on hard times and want to get back on their feet.

“I've been pushing the Minister, and the Ministry about coming to make sure that this happens because it's becoming more and more an issue in terms of more persons who can't afford rent, who now are in between jobs, find themselves being kicked out of their apartments and they need some way to transition as they get themselves back on their feet,” he said.

41 Responses to “Gov’t needs to buy out SSB homes @ Joe’s Hill Manor– Hon Marlon A. Penn ”

  • uhhhh (16/11/2023, 16:09) Like (27) Dislike (6) Reply
    So the Minister's bright idea is to turn it into a projects in upper Long, just wow. Whatever they decide to do with it, please do not let it turn into a ghetto/slum/projects like they have in the USVI and other places where all manner of nefarious activities take place 24/7. Please, anything but that!
    • Bvi man (17/11/2023, 08:12) Like (6) Dislike (0) Reply
      That’s exactly what I’ve being saying from the beginning. Those are the first projects in Tortola.
    • Toobad (17/11/2023, 23:32) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
      But look how neighbouring property drop BOOM,just so as a result,
  • Itsweet (16/11/2023, 16:19) Like (3) Dislike (0) Reply
  • Sure but... (16/11/2023, 16:26) Like (18) Dislike (0) Reply
    with what money is the govt going to be buying the houses from Social Security, an agency it has already borrowed heavily from? BTW Why would a property depreciate, unless it’s been allowed to run down?
  • lodger (16/11/2023, 16:36) Like (40) Dislike (2) Reply
    I cant think of anything else that shows what an incompetent government, and civil service, we have had over the years…Oh, maybe Prospect Reef, Hospital, Pier Park, Airline, Sewage and Waterworks, Racetrack, Chinese equipment, Incinerator(s), New seniors home, VG Clinic, Radar barges etc…….Did I say I couldnt think of anything else?
  • zbvi (16/11/2023, 16:49) Like (3) Dislike (0) Reply
    PHOTO IS BACKWARDS!!!! I may sue!!!
  • bad investment (16/11/2023, 16:51) Like (12) Dislike (1) Reply
    just like expanding the airport ..another white elephant
  • father (16/11/2023, 17:02) Like (14) Dislike (0) Reply
    Just waste of tax money Vincent Wheatley
    • @ father (17/11/2023, 07:21) Like (6) Dislike (2) Reply
      That was an ndp programme that Ian smith man who was the chairman of the Ss board and Ronnie are who made this mess
  • really?? (16/11/2023, 17:14) Like (19) Dislike (8) Reply
    How about maybe using them as investment short tern rentals for visitors coming into the territory? Social Security has already taken a chance to invest the prople's funds building them, and now you want government to buy them out? You have got to come better than that Marlon. Fix your infrastructures first before you start talking about them out and they the hand out begins. It will be a ghetto in short time if the Government gets involved. They DO NOT maintain any of their other properties or equipment.
  • nonsense (16/11/2023, 17:18) Like (37) Dislike (4) Reply
    Why should Government aka Taxpayers have to come up with a plan for this? BVISSB is a Statutory Body with a Board of Directors along with an investment sub-committee. They were the ones that went ahead with this DUMB idea instead of using that 20mil to make mortgages possible for persons who already got land. The houses are UGLY and in an UGLY location. Whu should govt have to bail them out? The market dictates the values, sell them.for what you can get and cut the losses. Govt should NOT put a dime in tbat place!!!! I thought Marlon had some sense.
  • Surprise surprise (16/11/2023, 17:23) Like (20) Dislike (0) Reply
    Another bright idea enacted by the government... let's build homes before qualifying people... and then let's act surprised when persons don't qualify. People who can qualify don't want a house that's near so many people.
  • John (16/11/2023, 17:23) Like (5) Dislike (2) Reply
    In the place those homes was sopose to be low income look at stskitts Nevis there are some people that lives here by homes cash and their family look after them until they retire those homes here to fambilus you can't by them by being paid six dollars a hour
  • Not affordable (16/11/2023, 17:29) Like (22) Dislike (0) Reply
    These homes were never for "middle or low-income" income workers. The prices have been unrealistic from the get go, and no one will realistically want to purchase them. Times are too hard. We are biting nails out here.
  • San (16/11/2023, 17:38) Like (17) Dislike (3) Reply
    Rent to earn as it’s done in other places.
    • care (17/11/2023, 16:14) Like (5) Dislike (0) Reply
      Its not rent to earn its Rent to own when you finish pay off for it is yours
  • Native Senior Citizen of the British Virgin Islands (16/11/2023, 17:49) Like (9) Dislike (1) Reply
    This is strange.

    According to you, Hon Marlon Penn, Rep. D7, Government need to buy out SSB Homes. What I am able to see is that you mean the Top local political leaders should use some our finances to buy the homes that was built from our finances. That sound to me like a double whammy.
    The Social security money that was used, and paid to the contractor or contractors was the people's money. If the government use more of the people's money to buy the people's homes for what you proposed that the government do, wouldn't that proposed act be, as late USA President, Ronald Reagan response to his political opponent when he branded his opponent argument as:also "Voodoo economics. If it is not "Voodoo economics, in my opinion it would be nothing other than ripoff economics.
  • musa (16/11/2023, 18:13) Like (5) Dislike (0) Reply
    Ok opposition, is that your best advice you have, did you see what prospect reef look like .what you should have say is to sell prospect reef to local or Belongers.
  • . (16/11/2023, 18:41) Like (6) Dislike (2) Reply
    Rent them
  • jah (16/11/2023, 18:59) Like (7) Dislike (1) Reply
    No HOA members should be allowed more than two terms because after two terms they over think them self
  • Yes (16/11/2023, 20:14) Like (3) Dislike (0) Reply
    See me with my house hitchon to someone else’s, go back to the drawing board.
  • History (16/11/2023, 20:24) Like (12) Dislike (0) Reply
    In a few years we won’t be asking about then plane money or the wall money it will be the joes hill money and these home will be a crumbling mess just like prospect reef. Idiotic plan from day 1 but guess what we will re elect that same bunch of idiots next term just like did last time.
  • lola (16/11/2023, 20:31) Like (6) Dislike (0) Reply
    This is just another backfire when you try to exclude people. If the investment were open to everyone, then this wouldn't even be an issue.
  • High Income (16/11/2023, 20:34) Like (4) Dislike (0) Reply
    When government building homes they call “ low Income Homes and not even High Income earners cannot afford the, you know we are in for trouble there is a housing crisis, people can’t afford rent neither can they afford to own a home in their country. So many people applied and non qualified we in serious trouble!!
  • #@@ (16/11/2023, 21:46) Like (3) Dislike (1) Reply
    The people of these British Virgin Islands already knew that this project should have never taken place. Now, We need to acknowledge that it will have a loss on this investment and hurry up get the houses off at a reasonable price that people can afford. It is better to get back some of the money than nothing at all. Sell them off at a lower cost. That is the solution.
  • capital (17/11/2023, 00:38) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    You all can criticize Marlon all you want. Listen to the budget speech next week.Barry say you will hear
  • RedStorm (17/11/2023, 03:45) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
    Government should buy them! This is the problem I don’t see happening in a good way. It can create conflict if the ministers end up owning two and three houses of those property and then resell or rent and gain heavily for themselves.

    I believe it is best to have those houses purchased from SSB , and make a plan with those persons on the checklist to rent to own. Therefore easy some people from renting and at the same time gaining asset after 20-30 years. This then increase the country’s development assets. And the young people should be first preference.
  • 5 million a month in Rent. (17/11/2023, 05:40) Like (3) Dislike (0) Reply
    Good idea. Govt should buy them and use some as govt offices and cut Govt rent bill down. Always best to have your own..
  • Blind Man (17/11/2023, 06:11) Like (7) Dislike (1) Reply
    Now Marlon tell me how are they depreciating and why should government by them from social security, social security themselves can rent the property if they have no other choice. Marlon you want to burden the government and then turn around and say they spending money foolishly.
    • @blind (20/11/2023, 09:48) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
      You seem to be the blind one. Everyday those house stay empty they depreciate. You essentially have a ghost town and everything will soon stop working because they're not being used. It's an asset that I quickly depreciating.

      If they stay this way for another year they will be worthless! Hon. Penn is absolutely correct. The Government need to get persons into these homes before the totally fall apart. But we this won't happen because these people are too shortsighted.
  • A waste of money (17/11/2023, 06:15) Like (3) Dislike (0) Reply
    So if the Government buys them are they going to turn them into low income homes?
  • WHATEVER HAPPENED (17/11/2023, 06:38) Like (2) Dislike (1) Reply
  • soap box (17/11/2023, 07:08) Like (6) Dislike (0) Reply

    The infrastructure of this territory is severely cracked our roads - which is a national asset, our, schools, hospitals etc need attention with urgency. I have never seen our territory this low before. It’s should not be the responsibility of the government to purchase those homes; you can’t use my money twice. We pay into the SS scheme, we pay our taxes so for Government to purchase them you will be using our money again for the same thing.

    SS in my opinion may have had good intentions but from my observation and knowing what I know they didn’t do proper research before “biting off more than they can chew”. When you think about it SS basically engaged in Real Estate- do they have a license for that? They advertised these properties as low income properties
    Not one low income recipient can afford them. So they revised the stipulations making them a bit more attractive -yet persons who make above per capita income still can’t afford them.

    They have covenants which is the responsible thing to do but even that is a bit unrealistic when the terms and conditions are read. HOA fees are to be collected but they have not established an agency who will be collecting the fees.

    I understand that they may be “ operating” at a loss but they need to figure it out, get it right! You can’t use my money twice for the same thing!
  • rattie (17/11/2023, 07:22) Like (1) Dislike (7) Reply
    Ndp is bad for the bvi
  • Drake 45 (17/11/2023, 09:43) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
    With all the color scheme and paint out there, why would they paint these building in that color, looks lime a PROJECT, come on man like really, the paint job is UGLY
  • HOWso?? (17/11/2023, 10:09) Like (5) Dislike (0) Reply
    My question is how could the SSB have gotten it sooooooo dead wrong? The answer is incompetence and stiffling corruption. Now, should Government now relieve the suspended moneys from SSB's shoulder onto the Gov'ts???
    Well the answer is that two wrong decisions doesn't make a right decision. @Marlon, speak sense!!
    The SSB simply has to sell for what they can get and recoup some ofthe moneys, it was a poor decision and they should face the consequence, not Gov't.
    Imagine $275K for a one bedroom and your neighbour right in your kitchen. Make dat mek sense!!?
  • lol (17/11/2023, 11:41) Like (3) Dislike (0) Reply
    So the same government that twisted the SSB arm to enter into a poorly concieved investment with limited returns now intends to buy it out? The only place they have been able to get money from was twisting the arms of the same SSB. So let me get this straight they are going probably borrow money from SSB to buy out a poorly conceived project with limited to no ROI and then pay back from tax payers money with interest? The only winners here will be the political sycophants who will be acquiring the properties at cut rates and the losers will be the tax payers and the SSB fund which has been gang banged by government after government. Father send some help fast please.
  • Dancing with the Stars (17/11/2023, 15:30) Like (6) Dislike (0) Reply
    I usually question the intelligence of Hon. Marlon Penn as a Legislator. I just cannot fathom the level of his reasoning. The project was conceptualized as a developmental one for the benifiit of the persons who found it difficult to own their of homes. Now Hon Penn is advocating for the government to own the houses and convert them into social homes for the less fortunate in the Territory. When will the less fortunate be emancipated from their reckless living. It is better to teach a man to fish rather than giving him a fish every day. Hon. Penn is very subtle about his constituency. And when he is finish, the world would know that the government is wasting its money on Intellectuals for a brighter future.
  • WEW (17/11/2023, 17:42) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
    It will end up just like Prospect Reef.
  • Just observing (18/11/2023, 05:23) Like (4) Dislike (0) Reply
    Who better as directors Antoinette or Jeanette .None- time for a new director
    No Vision for the board and the people are perishing
    What ah mess up there when it rain and come down long bush and in town
    Carvin told ayo don’t build them tings up deh , ayo to dam harden and greedy
    Skelton don’t listen and Boynes worst.
    Nobody buying them give them away or rent to own
    Pure schpidness, Marlon was minister and didn’t do a dam ting .
    The contractor did so much s—t up deh but was paid full
    To much friend, friend input pon we money
    What start wrong will end wrong
    Badmind will make dem tings rot!
    I am just observing

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