PM to disincentivise building wooden homes

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The prime minister said that it may be time to disincentivise the construction of wooden structures and encourage people to build more sustainable and climate resilient homes.
Gaston Browne said some of the housing stock throughout Antigua and Barbuda are dilapidated, and homeowners should consider getting value for their money when building.
“Ultimately, it will be cheaper for the families. We have a tendency to build these properties with concrete foundation and galvanise roofing. But, when you look at the superstructure, the difference between making it concrete or board is not significantly different. You would be having a more sustainable property,” he said.
The PM was speaking on Pointe FM following a meeting with residents of the Booby Alley, a neighborhood in his constituency. The government is two weeks away from going to Parliament to compulsorily acquire the approximate three-and-a-half acres of land currently occupied by more than 110 homes.
He said the homes are crammed on the land, which can pose a fire hazard for many homes should one property catch fire.
 Browne added that a push toward building more concrete structures would mean more climate resilient houses.
“I think it is more cultural that people just like the idea of putting up a big plywood property. But, when it comes to that, it is best you build a small concrete property because you would be getting better value for money,” Browne posited.
The prime minister concluded that the cost to construct a concrete home is more than erecting a wooden structure, but he said the lifespan of the cheaper building is significantly less, which will cause essential repairs long before renovation is needed on a concrete home.
Browne said that his government is totally committed to renewing the housing stock in Antigua and Barbuda, ensuring that more structures will withstand natural disasters.
The 2018 Atlantic Hurricane Season begins on Friday. Last September, Category 5-plus Hurricane Irma swept through Barbuda, wiping out many of the buildings.

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