A housing expert is being recruited to try to find more low-cost homes for people on St Helena – and enable young people to remain on the island.
It is one of several posts, worth more than half a million pounds in salary, being advertised by St Helena Government.
They include jobs running the island’s tourist office and its prison, as well as senior roles in social services and government finance.
The person who lands the £48,000-a-year housing executive role will have three years to combat a severe shortage of affordable housing, made worse by the cost of traditional building methods.
St Helena Government’s economic blueprint warns that overseas Saints may not return to the island, bringing much-needed expertise, unless housing, healthcare and education are radically improved.
The sustainable development plan says: “Housing availability does not match demand. Young people can only get on the housing ladder by going offshore to earn money to build a house. Traditional building methods are labour intensive and expensive.
“These issues are further compounded by the lack of a housing market.
“A housing strategy will be put in place to tackle issues of affordability and to ensure a lack of adequate property does not become a drag on economic growth.
“Given that SHG owns approximately 80 per cent of land on the island, the release of land and buildings onto the market to encourage private sector property development is critical.”
Solving the housing problem could also tackle concerns that the quality of community life has been eroded, according to the plan.
Other jobs advertised include:
- Head of Finance, £50,000 pa
- Pest Control and Biosecurity Officer, £50,000 pa
- Social Policy Planner, 45,000 pa
- Deputy Superintendent Gaols, £45,000 pa
- Audit Executive, £45,000 pa
- Chief Auditor, £50,000 – £60,000 pa
- Social Services Trainer, £36,000 pa
- Senior Social Services Planner, £50,000 pa
- Director of Tourism, £50,000 pa
- Modernisation Adviser (finance role) £46,000 pa
Interviews have also taken place for a second maths teacher to join newly-appointed Hema Soni.
If SH Government is only paying most people from £5,000 – £10,000 per annum this housing advisor’s name has to be Merlin, or perhaps Harry Potter!
– Robert Thomson, Northern Isles, Scotland