News Release: HAMILTON, Bermuda – The Bermuda Housing Trust (BHT) has announced the official opening of Westcott Cottage, a newly renovated property in the Ferguson Park, St David’s seniors housing community managed by the BHT.
During a ceremony held on Friday, August 28, Premier David Burt joined, Lieutenant Colonel David Burch, BHT Chairman John Barritt, Deputy BHT Chairman and Senator, Vance Campbell, Chair of the Ageing Well Committee, Senator Ianthia Simmons-Wade, St George’s South MP Tinee Furbert, Dr Claudette Fleming – Age Concern, Ms Joy Pimental – the Bank of Bermuda Foundation, Ms Sally Trott -Axis Capital, Ms Natalie Chiaramonte – CHUBB Foundation, Mr.Julian Marsh-BELCO as well as seniors who are resident in Ferguson Park in commemorating Westcott Cottage’s opening.
The new units were officially opened jointly by the Minister of Public Works and the Trust’s oldest resident, 104-year-old Mr Brownlow Place.
“This initiative is a wonderful example of collaboration between the BHT, the Bermuda Government and private donors, one that provides community-based living for a sector of our population that is increasing,” said Mr Barritt.
“The Trust believes this type of accommodation is critical for our senior clients as it represents an affirmation of their commitment, and ours, to a quality of life which, notwithstanding their age or financial circumstances, allows them to continue to lead independent lives.”
Mr Barritt also had special praise for the Government Minister responsible for the Trust, Public Works Minister the Lt Col David Burch.
“Minister Burch was supportive of this project from the very first day we brought our plans to his attention and that support was shown time and time again whenever we went to him for assistance. He mobilised and made happen any help we needed
making collaboration a working reality, and now a model for future projects with Government.”
Premier Burt stated: “This Government is fully committed to our seniors’ on-going health and welfare. And, since taking office we have made changes that have improve their lives.”
“Wescott Cottage offers our independent seniors affordable accommodation in an ideal location. It is a wonderful addition to the Ferguson Park community.
“I would like to commend the Bermuda Housing Trust on your commitment to your tenants, our seniors, and your tireless work to provide them with affordable housing. On behalf of the Government of Bermuda, thanks and congratulations to the Ministry of Public Works, the Bermuda Housing Trust, all of the donors and contractors and everyone who worked together on the remediation and renovation of Wescott Cottage.”
Minister Burch sated: “This project is a start, a welcome start, on what the Trust and the Ministry of Public Works have in mind. The model of a Government-Trust partnership, a kind of public-private partnership (PPP) that has been made possible through the Bermuda Housing Corporation, providing oversight services for the project at no cost to the Trust. This will help to keep costs down as the Trust looks to provide the necessary funding for the actual work. The hope and the aim is to continue to use
this model on future projects.
“Despite COVID-19 and the global pandemic, we were all able to work towards a common goal of getting the units completed on time and under budget. The addition of the two new units is a testament to the commitment of all involved and I believe lays the foundation for future projects together.”
In addition to acknowledging the efforts of the Ministry of Works and Engineering, Mr Barritt thanked the Bermuda Housing Corporation and its lead architect and project manager, Mr Keino Furbert; the Bank of Bermuda Foundation; AXIS Capital; the Chubb Charitable Foundation; and BELCO for bringing the renovation project to life.
Westcott Cottage brings the number of housing units in the BHT’s inventory at Ferguson Park to 21.
Overall, the BHT manages 183 housing units for seniors capable of independent living at five locations in Bermuda.