Thursday, July 15, 2010



I beg to differ with your opinion of Hillview, Trevor Vernon. It was a new housing project, ( 19 years ago ) built like many others then and still now, not for freebie welfare recipients or the poor. The qualifications to get a house and lot in Hillview are like many other housing projects done by different governments in Belize. The DFC handle the financing of the mortgage for the house, and when you paid for the house, you suddenly found out, it did not include the house lot and you had to pay again, the LANDS DEPARTMENT in Belmopan. House and land were sold separately by different government departments, though they did not tell you that, when you started and thought you were getting a house and lot, for the mortgage money.
It did start out on a NO MONEY DOWN basis though, but those that could not pay were quickly eliminated and forced out of the house and lots, by civil servants of the DFC. The lands department would wait for decades, for an annual lease fee for the land, which caught nearly EVERYBODY by surprise when they paid off their mortgage to find out they did not own the land lot the cement house was built on. In my case I bought my two houses out here in Hillview, one from my daughter Wendy, ( don't remember now for $21,000 to $24,000 thereabouts the going value at the time ) who paid off the mortgage and cleared a profit I suppose? Signing the lease transfer for me. We bought location! The other one we bought at DFC foreclosure auction in Belmopan, for $15,500 up front, plus incidental other costs around $1000 and then we had to pay about another $5000 we eventually found out, to get the land through the LEASE CERTIFICATE process and then a LAND TITLE process. ( Still waiting on that TITLE for about over a year now ) Until then, house land lot was rented only. One could not pick up a small 400 sq. ft block house and move it if you wanted.
Each government brouhaaed that these and other housing developments were for the poor. Which is a pile of horse shit propaganda. This is probably were Trevor gets his mistaken idea. Nobody but middle upper level civil servants can actually buy housing development house and lots. Not even lower level school teachers and policemen can buy them. Too expensive. If there was anything for the poor, originally, it was the ability to enter into a house for NO MONEY down for first time house buyers, back 19 years ago here. What happened in ALL these such POOR advertised POOR GOVERNMENT housing developments, is that the POOR lived in them for a number of years, until evicted by the government for non payment. The occupants then STOLE all the toilets, sinks, electrical wire and switches, windows, doors, etc. leaving empty shells. There are still about 2 or 3 around in Hillview like that available. Mostly itinerant police families posted to the TWIN TOWNS looking for cheap houses, move in rent free, cover up the window holes and cook over wood fires in the backyard and lawd knows where they shit. Catch and Kill worker families also camp out in them for as long as they can, which is sometimes for years, without paying a cent to anybody. DFC cleans the yards by paying somebody and adds the cost to the eventual sale price, which accumulates to a sizeable amount.( hundreds of dollars ) Nothing is FREE, or for the POOR! All the people around me are retired, or upper level civil servants, or business people with the moola to get into the houses. After 19 years or so, the process has evolved now from several evictions, to sale only by DFC AUCTION, or by knowing somebody in DFC, who can tip you off to an available house. They are now highly sought after as investments. Most retail asking prices today run between $35,000 to $65,000 asking price. CASH and if you want a mortgage get it from your bank.
When Wendy, Sharon and Tina bought, the house development was stripped of all but the cement block wall shells. The advantage in the beginning was for $200 down, you could get a house shell and lot and pay a mortgage of $200 a month. So you mistakenly thought. A lot of people are still paying their mortgage and have no idea they still do not own the house land lot their house sits on. When I bought there were 3 houses that had been painted, all the rest were either vacant vandalized shells and the whole hillside was MUD up to your eyebrows. Now the houses have extensions, additions, fences, yards, grass, ornamental shrubs, fruit trees and looks quite nice. If we could get the streets paved with asphalt and about 6 culverts put in, it would be extremely high toned as a place to live.
Government housing developments have one advantage. They put in streets and electricity and water lines. You are not in the middle of a field, with a water vat, outhouse and your own solar panel, diesel generator. The garbage is picked up occasionally and the Health department sprays for mosquitoes in season. Nowadays you cannot get your drivers license renewed, your vehicle license either without first bringing receipts to show your property tax is up to date at the Twin Town Council. There is not a high turn over of houses here. There was in the beginning as the POOR were eliminated by the DFC eviction process, or people still living on the mortgage, also lose their houses to foreclosure when they failed to clear their costs of mortgage, the land LEASE and then CLEAR TITLE process. The old timers paying mortgage are resident on borrowed time, as eventually they will lose their homes if they have not cleared everything financially. As the government takes them back and puts them to foreclosure auctions, as people can no longer pay for whatever reasons. The only ones winning are those that keep paying the low costs and fees by today's standards and cost of living and when they die, their children get the houses free, ( DFC insurance scheme ) but not the land lot from Lands Department. You can't carry away the cement house. Several are like that I know. I've tried to buy several, but the children cannot get TITLES and do not have the money to do so and the process is so slow as to be many years down the road, even if you had the money. Nor can people sell them. They lack TITLE. They try and promise to sign all kinds of papers to sell them, but nobody can get the titles within any reasonable length of time. We are talking probate, lease transfers, etc. We are talking maybe ten years? Sellers want money up front, but lack the ability to satisfy a buyer.
HILLVIEW was never designed to be for POOR PEOPLE, nor are most housing developments by the government. They were advertised so, in party newspapers though. Pure BULLSHIT!

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