Good afternoon, Guam!
Please find the VIDEO and TEXT of the Governor’s Weekly Address.
VIDEO: You can access the video by clicking here.
See this and other videos on the Governor’s YouTube channel,
A new housing market
By Eddie Baza Calvo
My fellow Guamanians,
Too many in this tiny tropical paradise find themselves overpowered by the harsh cycles of poverty…  One of the coldest realities of poverty is accepting that there are struggling families among us who don’t have a place to call home…  Picture a family of small children sleeping on mats laid on old carpets. The rugs lay on the bare jungle floor behind the walls of rusted structures. The rain leaks in through latched doors. This is a reality for many… and a menacing problem in the cycle of poverty.
We have solutions to these problems.
My housing team got together with private sector partners over the past few months. I tasked them with getting homeless families into homes. While I care about our homeless adults, I’m much more concerned about their children. I want to know that they have a safe place to live… and that they’re going to school. The cycle of poverty ends this decade.
On the day of the State of the Island address, the housing team put out an Invitation for Design. This was the first step in providing quality modern homes for the homeless. In the next couple of months, a list of developers who can put up these structures will be released.
Then, our solutions will go in two directions. The first is a government investment into building these modern homes near Guma San Jose. These homes will be for homeless families. We will work with Mayor Savares and our agencies to provide athletic, nutrition, and tutoring services. And the heads of those households will be required to undergo job training and active job search.
Now, when I say ‘modern’ homes, I’m not kidding. These structures are earthquake- and typhoon-resistant to standards by the International Building Code. They are homes with kitchens, living rooms, bedrooms, and bathrooms. They’re also insulated and energy efficient.
The cost? It is estimated between $10,000 to $50,000.
That brings me to the second direction we will take. We are offering developers the use of 10 lots at Sagan Linahyan for an Open House. The developers will get to place their model homes on these lots for house hunters to see. And they’ll get to offer you construction of these homes at these low prices. We expect that this will spur an entirely new housing market on island.
There is no reason for homes on Guam to cost more than Guamanians can afford. When we embarked on this Affordable Housing Initiative, everyone around the table scratched their heads. How would we make it affordable for people to buy a home? The answer to that question turned out to be ‘dedication and passion.’ We had it in our hearts to produce these solutions for everyone, from the poorest of the poor to the working family struggling to get by.
Houses are more than structures.  They’re more than places where we keep our belongings, eat our meals and sleep in at night.  Houses are the center of our families – the place where children are raised, nurtured and guided.  It’s home.  And when the stability of the home is threatened, so too is the wellbeing of the family within.
As we find more time to devote to addressing the deeper, more complex issues facing our community, the more we can fine tune our focus on long-term solutions.  And the Calvo Tenorio administration is strongly committed to building a generation equipped from within to end poverty…  We want to make sure that the health of every neighborhood is strong…  A place where all children are embraced, no matter their circumstances.
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