Minister Emmanuel: Moving forward for St. Maarten

Minister of Public Housing, Spatial Planning, Environment and Infrastructure Christophe Emmanuel


PHILIPSBURG – Minister of Housing, Spatial Planning, Environment and Infrastructure Christophe Emmanuel addressed Wednesday’s, April 5, Council of Ministers Press Briefing.

First, he informed that the Council of Ministers has been working on finalizing Back Street. According to him, the advice is complete, and Back Street will be finalized as soon as possible. He assured that by the end of April, Back Street will be complete.

The budget is coming from the Ministry of TEATT, and VROMI will be executing the projects.

In addition, Minister Emmanuel said that some of the “priorities that we have in the Ministry of VROMI and also within our governing program, which is affordable housing. I have managed to get in contact with a buyer, and I managed to get in contact with a seller that had land that they were willing to negotiate, and sort of move forward with affordable housing for the people of St. Maarten.”

“I can safely say that we will be very soon constructing about 160 homes. By the end of this year, 50 of those homes will be complete. One hundred percent financing. And it’s a good thing for the people of St. Maarten,” the Minister said.

“It’s a priority of this government to see to it that everyone can afford the simple dream of owning your own home because we know how difficult it is when you go to the banks,” he stated.

“We have been working on this project from the beginning we came in, and I can safely say that we are about 70 percent complete. I will be flying to Curaçao to meet the financier and the developers on how we’re going to complete and solidify this agreement for the people of St. Maarten. So we are making strides,” Minister Emmanuel informed.

He also mentioned the landfill, and different approaches to take in solving that issue. According to him, research has provided information where in Aruba and Curaçao a fee for household garbage is being charged to every household.

“It would be hard for someone who already pays $75 or a NAf. 100 for the electricity and here we add another NAf. 25. My thing was we need to do something, and we were discussing on how to approach…Yes, we agree that something should be done, but you should look at it from a different angle. Whether you would want to exempt those who are paying NAf. 100 or less or something, but we are working on these things because as it is right now we have to get things done. That’s the bottom line,” the Minister explained.

“We are moving forward…and we will be bringing more information in the coming weeks. The people of St. Maarten will know much more on how we can move forward,” Minister Emmanuel concluded.