NMHC survey: Residents want to live in Sinapalo


The Northern Marianas Housing Corp. recently conducted an informal survey regarding Bluebay Homes, their housing program on Rota, which they are looking at relocating from Songsong to Sinapalo.

According to corporate director Jesse Palacios, 150 Rota residents were asked about their housing preferences.

Palacios said 103 people said they preferred living in Sinapalo while only 28 chose Songsong and five chose other villages.

As to housing types, 104 preferred single houses, 23 wanted townhouses, eight chose duplex, while six said they want to live in apartments. The respondents also want added amenities such as Internet, playground, and laundry areas.

There are 30 units under the Bluebay Homes project but only 14 are occupied, according to Palacios.

Because the units have already fully depreciated and maintenance cost is expensive, NMHC is looking at building new units in a different location.

“We’re looking at it long-term so we’re not going to keep on paying a contractor to keep the units livable. It’s better to build new units that’s going to last 30 years with minimum maintenance,” Palacios said.

During their ad-hoc meeting last month, Palacios said they talked about selling the property in Songsong to fund the new construction. However, they still need to clarify with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development the process that they need to undertake with regards to the transition.

“The board wants the move to take place but we need the approval of HUD first because we have a contract with them,” Palacios said.

NMHC has 17 years remaining on its 20-year contract with HUD.

Palacios said they are looking at transferring to Sinapalo because of the shift in population on Rota. Some of the government offices are also more accessible for their tenants from there, especially for those who don’t have a means of transportation.

“We already have a piece of property assigned to us by [the Department of] Public Lands in Sinapalo,” said Palacios. It is 30,000 square meters in size.

Frauleine S. Villanueva-Dizon | Reporter
Frauleine Michelle S. Villanueva was a broadcast news producer in the Philippines before moving to the CNMI to pursue becoming a print journalist. She is interested in weather and environmental reporting but is an all-around writer. She graduated cum laude from the University of Santo Tomas with a degree in Journalism and was a sportswriter in the student publication.

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