Barbuda Housing Relief Initiative Moves To The Next Stage

CAF with GG and Lady Williams.

The Prince’s Foundation and The Calvin Ayre Foundation (CAF) on Wednesday 20, signed a Memorandum of Understanding) (MOU) at Government House and virtually in London , to move the Wa’omoni Cottages Barbuda housing relief initiative to the next stage.

Due to current travel restrictions resulting from the Covid-19 pandemic, the parties employed the use of technology in order to move the project another step forward. The brief signing ceremony was physically attended by Their Excellencies, Sir Rodney and Lady Williams, Ambassador Calvin Ayre, a small team from Government House and the Ayre Group, with Jeremy Cross, of The Prince’s Foundation, participating via videoconference from London.

Amb Ayre Signing


The partnership between the two Foundations was announced in January, 2020, with CAF significantly contributing US$1M to the initiative intended to provide resilient homes for families homeless as a result of the devastation wrought by Hurricanes Irma and Maria. With this support, together with funding and planning work involving The Government of Antigua and Barbuda, The Barbuda Council, The Halo Foundation and other donors, the Wa’omoni Cottages project can now move to the next phase.

Jeremy Signing

During Wednesday’s signing ceremony, His Excellency, Sir Rodney Williams expressed these sentiments: “I wish to thank His Royal Highness, Prince Charles and the Prince’s Foundation for the vision that they have exercised. I want to thank Ambassador Calvin Ayre and the Calvin Ayre Foundation for being a willing partner.” His Excellency also thanked the Government of Antigua and Barbuda, the Barbuda Council, Her Excellency, Lady Williams of the Halo Foundation and all the other parties involved.

During his remarks, Ambassador Ayre said, “I am pleased to be here this morning to lend my signature to the formalization of this important partnership to push ahead with the construction of needed homes on the island of Barbuda for the people of Barbuda who were devastated by Hurricane Irma.”

Jeremy Cross of The Prince’s Foundation, who visited Antigua and Barbuda in January to help advance the plans, said: “We are excited to be working closely with The Government of Antigua and Barbuda, The Barbuda Council and our key partners to help rebuild, and create much-needed homes that are resilient, sustainable and appropriate for Barbuda.”

Land allocated by the Barbuda Council has been cleared and surveyed, in preparation for the first phase of the new cluster of housing which will be constructed adjacent to the Sir Mc Chesney George Secondary School.  The design of the project has been approved and welcomed by the Barbuda Council, for a mixture of 2 and 3 bedroom units meeting the needs of those still homeless. Detailed construction drawings have already been lodged with DCA for review and approval.

The homes will meet or exceed all local codes and be designed to withstand a category 5 hurricane, with a minimum 180mph wind load as well as seismic forces. The cottages’ design respects local character and style with recipients being able to customize the look of their homes through a combination of elements such as shutter designs and colour.

The houses will be allocated to those who lost their homes completely in the 2017 hurricanes, prioritising those in greatest need through a process overseen by a five-person Beneficiary Selection Committee.

The Prince’s Foundation’s support to Barbuda follows a visit to the twin-island state by charity president HRH The Prince of Wales following the 2017 disaster. Having seen the desolation first-hand, The Prince’s Foundation wanted to help rebuild in a way that ensures housing is resilient in the face of future climate challenges. The Calvin Ayre Foundation, well known for a range of philanthropic activity and support in Antigua and Barbuda and beyond, was also keen to find a way to respond to the housing needs of the people of Barbuda, supplying funding and technical support to the design and construction of the housing.

Her Excellency, Lady Sandra Williams, said “The Halo Foundation is happy to be associated with The Prince’s Foundation in this initiative, which will help to bring back a sense of normalcy to the people of Barbuda after such a devastating experience. The Halo Foundation,” she added, “will be contributing to the project by providing furnishings and appliances.”

In the design and development of the new homes, The Prince’s Foundation and The Calvin Ayre Foundation have worked with Marianne Cusato, of US-based Cypress Community Development Corporation and an experienced local professional team including architect Iza Goodwin-Michael and engineer Wayne Martin. Cypress, known for its expertise in disaster recovery rebuilding efforts, built more than 450 homes in Louisiana after the devastation caused by Hurricane Katrina in 2005 as well as in Florida following Hurricane Irma.

The Foundation team has met with Prime Minister Gaston Browne on several occasions, to review plans for the homes. Support for the project will be provided by the Government of Antigua and Barbuda, by waiving all taxes and fees that would otherwise be payable. “‘After discussions that started two years ago, we are now in a position to see this project get underway and take off,’ PM Browne said, ‘and what will emerge is a beautiful project that will be the pride of Barbuda and a project that will assist greatly with climate resilience.’

The Barbuda Council has been closely involved in the development of the initiative, identifying land that has now been cleared and surveyed, in preparation for construction to start as soon as the planning phase is complete. “We look forward to working with the three Foundation partners on this very important initiative and are excited to have these homes in our community,” said Calsey Beazer, of the Barbuda Council.

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  1. Good stuff! God bless.

    Exactly how many homes/units in total will be meeting the needs of those still homeless?

    They say there will be a “mixture of 2 and 3 bedroom units“ but how many homes in total?

  2. So much funds have been given for housing in Barbuda one would think that the appropriately 1600 hundred residents of Barbuda would be housed by now. What happened to all the donations?

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