The Ministry of Housing was established by an act of Parliament which commenced on January 9th, 1968. The Housing Act replaced the former Housing Corporation which dissolved on January 7th, 1964. The Act was established to promote the “construction of new dwelling homes for persons of moderate means, insurance of mortgages and purposes connected therewith.”
According to the act the minister is corporate sole and has powers to do the following:
Construct dwelling houses upon land owned by the Government or to be acquired for such purposes.
Acquire dwelling houses, land or housing projects by way of purchase, lease or otherwise.
Sell, lease, exchange or otherwise dispose of real or personal property acquired by him pursuant to the Act
Carry out housing development (including the provision of utilities and roads) building, maintenance, repair and operations
Carry on any business or undertaking in or for the purposes of any housing development
Grant loans on such terms and conditions as he deems fit to persons of low and middle incomes for the purpose of the rehabilitation and improvement of dwelling houses.
Promote and encourage the construction of new dwelling houses of sound construction and affording suitable accommodation for families of low or middle incomes and senior citizens
Promote or encourage the means of financing and construction of dwelling houses for the benefit of persons wishing to own and occupy such houses to such extent as may be necessary to meet the public need in various parts of The Bahamas
Purchase a mortgage redemption policy of insurance to provide life insurance to approved borrowers
Promote and encourage the establishment of such projects and facilities as would appear to him to enhance the standard of living, general welfare and well being of person and for those purposes to exercise the powers hereinbefore conferred upon him.
The ministry through the Department of Housing constructs homes to be purchased by low to middle income persons. The purchase of these homes is usually financed through mortgages obtained from the Bahamas Mortgage Corporation. The ministry also provides living accommodations for rent and aids persons with small house repairs.
The Ministry of Housing and all of its departments was amalgamated with the Ministry of Environment following the general elections of 2012 to form the new Ministry of the Environment and Housing, under the leadership of Min. Kenred M. A. Dorsett. The minister has stated that the “merger provided the perfect opportunity for the government to achieve balance in its development efforts.”;