Published On: Wed, Sep 28th, 2016

Pension fund APS breaks ground for affordable housing project


Artist rendition of what project would look like, once completed. Image contributed

GREAT BAY – Plans for the construction of affordable housing units on a parcel of land at Welgelegen in Cay Hill, are closer to realization following a symbolic groundbreaking event, held last Friday afternoon.

Present for the occasion were Finance Minister Richard Gibson, Vromi-Minister Angel Meyers, APS board chairman Franklyn Richards, board member Guilliano Saturnilia, director Nadya van Putten, Manager Finance and Investments George Willems and project manager Kendra Arnell, along with architects David Morrison, John Baker and Ron Daal (Engineering Consulting Firm ICE).

During the event, designs of the housing project were shown on site, before proceeding with the customary placing of shovels in the ground.

The project is spearheaded by St. Maarten’s General Pension fund, APS, and entails the construction of 61 townhouses and apartments for sale.

The pension fund is working towards offering the majority of the units below the maximum sales price of 250 thousand dollars (as stipulated in a long lease resolution granted by government to APS in late 2015), considering that the units are being offered under the umbrella of affordable housing.
The units would range from one to three bedrooms in size, measuring about 70 to 100 square meters per unit.

The Welgelegen housing project and other investments is the fund’s response to the urgent and ongoing need of seriously addressing reforms with which to make St. Maarten’s pension system more sustainable and affordable, says APS chairman of the board Franklyn Richards.

Recognizing the investment and housing challenges faced by many residents – in particular young professionals aged 25 and older, the fund has embraced the opportunity to contribute towards providing opportunities, in working with the government of St. Maarten, which made the Welgelegen lot available, says the APS board chairman.
“APS has also been exploring the possibilities of establishing a mortgage bank,” Richards said. “The fund also sees this as an attractive opportunity for its clients, who wish to purchase one of these affordable homes, as a way of investing in Sint Maarten and its people over a long-term period.”

“To give everyone an equal opportunity, the pension fund insists that a transparent process be followed. This would have to be based on a clear selection criterion for those wishing to be considered for one of the new units. Details of those guidelines are presently being worked on,” says Kendra Arnell, APS senior advisor for research and development.

To obtain a clearer picture of the housing requirements and wishes and related aspects, APS has embarked on a housing survey geared towards assessing aspects such as the type of housing people currently have and whether they own their own home or if they rent one.

Those interested in being part of the survey should contact APS at its offices at the Yogesh Commercial Complex in Cul-de-Sac, e-mail to info@apsxm.org or call 543 00 03 during regular office hours on weekdays.


APS officials with cabinet ministers officiating ground breaking act at site of APS Welgelegen, Cay Hill homes where 61 units are to be constructed. From left to right are architects John Baker and David Morrison, APS manager finance and investments, George Willems, ICE principal Ron Daal, Vromi staff member Kimberly Meyers, Minister Richard Gibson Sr., Vromi staff member Chantale Groeneveldt, APS chairman Franklyn Richards, APS Director Nadya van Putten, Minister Angel Meyers, APS project manager Kendra Arnell and APS board member Guilliano Saturnilia. Photo contributed