Public Works Minister Lieutenant-Colonel David Burch today launched a new online survey aimed at gathering accurate data on families in need of affordable housing.

Joined by the General Manager of the Bermuda Housing Corporation (BHC), Major Barrett Dill, the Minister said the survey will help the Government “to plan adequately” to meet the BHC’s mandate “to provide accessibility to adequate, affordable housing and promote independent living to enhance the quality of life in Bermuda”.

Colonel Burch noted that there has been “virtually no increase in the amount of affordable housing stock for at least the last seven years and even less attention paid to maintaining the current housing inventory”.

“As such there is a dearth of housing inventory to meet present needs,” he said.

“We currently cater to 500 families in both BHC and privately owned accommodation and another 180 families accommodated in rooming houses but, with an ever increasing demand, we lack the capacity to help more families.”

The basic online survey will help the Government “to ascertain accurate numbers of those families in need of housing presently and in the future”.

“The goal is to identify what people need in terms of affordable and adequate housing for rent and/or purchase for themselves and their families,” he added.

He noted that “the survey has been designed to broaden the understanding of the issue of affordable housing in Bermuda and the accommodation needs of Bermudians”.

“We are painfully aware of the struggles that people face regarding rents and purchasing units in the open market. Additionally, there are challenges and circumstances that prevent some from being properly and sufficiently housed such as unemployment, underemployment, low income, access and availability of units.

“The objective of the Bermuda Affordable Housing Survey is to identify key issues that will assist the Ministry of Public Works with strategizing and forward planning to meet the need.

“Accurate data is the key to being able to provide what is needed – so I encourage everyone to participate in the survey so that our plans and actions going forward will address the needs of the Bermudian people.

“Once the data is collated and analyzed – we will either confirm or adapt the current action plans to address the need,” said the Minister.

“As is our custom – we will publicly report those findings and plans.”

The survey can be accessed at www.affordablehousing.bm.