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Monday, Oct 03, 2022

SSB should not be managing Joe’s Hill project - Deputy Premier

SSB should not be managing Joe’s Hill project - Deputy Premier

Deputy Premier Dr Natalio Wheatley said he favours the Social Security Board (SSB) making local investments but agrees that the SSB should not be managing projects such as the Joe’s Hill Manor Estate (JHME).

The disclosure was made during Standing Finance Committee (SFC) deliberations late last year as legislators considered estimates of the 2022 budget.

Dr Wheatley’s assertion came after Third District Representative Julian Fraser asked about the SSB’s long-term strategy and whether the agency intends to remain in the housing business.

SSB Director Jeanette Scatliffe-Boynes stated that it was doubtful the SSB aimed to remain in the housing industry and indicated it would be good to sell the JHME units and ensure its management, whether by a property manager or a housing association.

SSB in talks with real estate experts

Fraser asked for clarity on how the property management company or the housing association would lessen the burden on the SSB and Scatliffe-Boynes revealed that they are in discussion with several experts that are experienced in such developments.

She noted that this was to confirm how much can be divested, as it would be beneficial for the SSB to sell the properties removing all connections between the SSB and the project.

However, the Director said this requires the review of what is known as ‘the covenants’ to ascertain the options.

SSB should invest in finances overseas

Meanwhile, Dr Wheatley explained that he believes the SSB should invest in finances overseas.

He added that local projects are worthy of investment as it helps people’s dreams become a reality.

According to the Deputy Premier, there is a need for much development in the territory, and housing is an important area.

Dr Wheatley further explained that the differences between low income or affordable housing and the Joe’s Hill Manor Estate should be apparent; primarily to get a yield for the pensioners.


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