New rooming house in the west end unveiled by BHC

The Bermuda Housing Corporation (BHC) recently unwrapped a newly renovated two-story house on Beacon Hill Road, Somerset.

The unit is modelled in the context of a rooming house for men, combining traditional exterior, with modern, interior form and function.

The spacious unit can accommodate five tenants and possesses a large communal kitchen and a spacious communal living area, while significant to the design are five bathrooms, which are specific to each of the five bedrooms.

The concept, which was developed by BHC manager, Blake Lambert, features walk-in, door-less showers, toilet and sink amidst a contemporary set-up, with matching tile throughout, making for a seamless and appealing bathroom space.

“One of the things we’ve learned, as we’ve gone through this process, is that bathroom space is always a challenge and that’s a challenge even in residential spaces,” explained Minister of Works and Engineering Lieutenant Colonel David Burch, attended who along with Lambert, fellow BHC manager Paul Martin, MP Chistopher Famous and a host of other government officials and civil servants. “Blake Lambert, the project manager for this unit, has developed a system where everything all goes in one room and one space, so it doesn’t take up the normal amount of space that a bathroom would.

“But it gives people privacy and eliminates a whole lot of in-house drama.”

The unit will be offered to gainfully employed men at an all inclusive, monthly rate of $650, as a means of giving those that may not require an exorbitant amount of living space and are amenable to communal living.
Both Minister Burch and Martin noted that BHC possess a vast inventory of properties that are actively being renovated and/or refurbished and being reintroduced into the local housing market.

“Originally this was a two bedroom cottage and a studio apartment and so we are in the process of renovating 137 units that we own,” said the Minister. “Sixty-six of those are vacant and derelict, so we figured we would start with our own inventory, to bring them back online, because there is a dire need for housing in the country.

“This was originally going to be converted back into a cottage but the manager – of which we have two at Bermuda Housing Corporation, who are both architects by profession, but excellent at project management – who came up with the idea of converting it into a rooming house.

“We have about a dozen of these across the country, which actually work well for people who don’t need a whole lot of space.

“We will monitor and manage it, because if you put five people together they are going to be some differences, but we have been pretty successful in getting people to understand that they have to share, that they have to be respectful to their house mates.

“We expect that five men will live here. Originally it was to be women, but the demand is greater for men and so we will monitor it and see if they get along. If one person does not we will change them out and put somebody else in this in space, so they will have to learn to get along together.

Burch pointed out that the Beacon Hill residence is not designed as a halfway house or living facility where people go as a part of their drug rehab aftercare or post incarceration.

Instead, the house is designed to offer transitional or long term, independent living quarters to those unable to find affordable housing in a heated rental market.

“No, in this particular case we want them working, so that is the only criteria,” said Burch. “If they have other issues we will work with them to rectify those.
“They will have to pay rent and utilities and the way that we’ve structured this is that electricity, water and whatever else normally comes with renting a unit separate will be included in their rent for here.

So they will have one figure that is reasonable in the amount of $650. They will be able to manage that, which will help them in that regard, so that they can step up.”

Martin further noted how BHC has recently brought online units at Harmony property on South Road in Paget, and has numerous others shaping up to cater to those in need of suitably priced housing.

“There are a lot of people looking for affordable homes and this is one way of fulfilling that need,” said Martin. “Here you’re able to house five individuals, while having their own privacy and their own bathroom is great and we’re also working on a number of other projects at a number of other properties.
“We did a part of Harmony a few weeks ago and we’re working on another section there, a two apartment place down in Flatts, we have a project down at Gilcrest, Battery Road in St George’s, this one on Beacon Hill, there is a whole host of active projects and work that we are performing and bringing to fruition.”

Any content which is considered unsuitable, unlawful, or offensive, includes personal details, advertises or promotes products, services or websites, or repeats previous comments will be removed.

User comments posted on this website are solely the views and opinions of the comment writer and are not a representation of or reflection of the opinions of TNN or its staff.

TNN reserves the right to remove, edit or censor any comments.

TNN accepts no liability and will not be held accountable for the comments made by users.