To provide quality and affordable rental accommodation for Bermuda’s independent seniors and to create a sense of community that enhances the quality of their lives.
Over 50 years ago the Reverend George Buchanan, then the Minister of the Christ Church Warwick and well-known for his public and social welfare work, determined the most critical need in the Bermuda community was for low cost housing for its seniors.
Rev. Buchanan sought the support of the late Mr. W.S. Purvis and through the foresight and philanthropic efforts of Mr. W.S. Purvis, The Bermuda Housing Trust, an independent, non-government, non-profit organisation, was established by an Act of Parliament on August 3, 1965. The Act set out in eloquent but clear language the goal and continuing mission of the Trust: “To initiate and administer one or more schemes for the relief of poverty, suffering and misfortune among elderly persons in Bermuda by the provision of accommodation for such persons on favourable terms”.
Rev. Buchanan acted as Chairman of the Bermuda Housing Trust from 1965 to 1977 and worked alongside Mr. Purvis, who through his personal funds and private donations, financed the first two properties, Elizabeth Hills, near Fort Hamilton and Purvis Park in Devonshire.
Mr. R. A Ferguson then joined Mr. Purvis and two more properties were built, Heydon Park in Somerset, and later in 2001, at Southside, St. David’s, Ferguson Park named in his honour. Mr Ferguson served as Chairman of the Bermuda Housing Trust until he retired in 1998. Mr. Ferguson spent much of his time managing the affairs of all four parks (even making repairs himself!) and soliciting donations for the Trust. Mr. Ferguson ensured the Trust’s financial position remained strong through consistent contributions by both the private and corporate communities. The last property, Dr. Cann Park, in Southampton, was completed in 2009. All of the units are rentals.
The Bermuda Housing Trust Act 1965 (Click to view)
The Bermuda Housing Trust Act outlines the Trust’s responsibility to provide housing for those seniors who are deemed to be in financial need but who otherwise can live independently. The Act enables the Trust to undertake the solicitation of funding, to fundraise and accept donations and gifts (including land) solely for the purpose of providing shelter and housing for seniors in need.
THE PITT REPORT, 1978, SINGLED OUT BERMUDA HOUSING TRUST FOR THEIR ACHIEVEMENT IN WORKING TOGETHER WITH GOVERNMENT TO PROVIDE ACCOMMODATION FOR BERMUDA’S ELDERLY:
“6.22. We were impressed with the work which the Bermuda Housing Trust has done and is now doing. This Trust was set up by Mr. and Mrs. W. S. Purvis, both now deceased, to provide low-cost accommodation for elderly Bermudians. The Trust is administered by a Committee chaired, energetically, by Mr. R. A. Ferguson. With the co-operation of Government, who provided the land, architectural and engineering skills and services, the Trust built a block of one, and two bedroom apartments in Pembroke in 1965 and rented these for $60-$85 per month. A second complex in Devonshire was completed in 1975, again on Government land, and this time with the bulk of the funding coming from private agencies and service clubs. A third block of apartments is now under construction in Sandys parish. The success of the Bermuda Housing Trust demonstrates dramatically what can be achieved by private agencies and Government working together when there is imaginative planning-and energetic implementation of the resulting programme.”
The board consists of Chairman, Deputy Chairman, Chairman of Finance and 6 Trustees who manage the Trust’s five senior residential properties, offering 180 units and housing 194 seniors. The residential communities are designed for independent, active, healthy seniors who are able to live on their own.
The Trust employs one full time Office Administrator who coordinates the day-to-day management of the facilities and tenants and one part-time Administrator. The Trust manages all aspects of its affairs, including annual independent audits by the Auditor General. The Trust prides itself on its integrity and financial prudence. Its Financial statements can be reviewed below, under Governance.
The challenges posed by soaring construction and maintenance costs and deteriorating wealth for many seniors has compelled the Trust to embrace strategic partnerships to achieve success for its initiatives. The Trust welcomes assistance and support from all sectors of the community in alleviating the challenges that directly threaten the quality of life and wellbeing of our senior citizens.
The Trust does not receive nor does it rely on any funding from Government. It has over the years sought to be self-funding and meet its expenses through rents and, where possible, through donations. This is no easy task when maintaining an ageing housing stock and remaining committed to a long-standing policy of not raising rents on sitting tenants. Through collaboration, the dedication of its Board, Trustees and Staff, along with the support of the private and corporate community, The Bermuda Housing Trust will continue to be a leading resource in affordable, independent living for seniors. The Trust’s goal has always been to provide sound, secure accommodation at the lowest possible rents bearing in mind the need to properly and adequately maintain the properties as they age. To this end, the current overriding goal is to try and never raise the rent on a sitting tenant.
However, it isn’t just rental accommodation that the Trust seeks to provide but rather communities that consist of rental units that our senior tenants can call home. The Trust believes this to be important to our senior clients because for them it represents an affirmation of their commitment and ours to a quality of life which, notwithstanding their ages or financial circumstances, allows them to continue to lead independent lives.
The Trust continues to keep under review the opportunity to provide more homes on this basis so that it can meet the growing need in the wider Bermuda community. All of the Trust’s residences remain fully occupied and there is a waiting list that varies from time to time of between 50 and 100 persons.. It is hoped the Trust, with support, will soon be able to develop additional housing in order to meet the challenge of an ever growing number of baby boomers who will need affordable living options once they retire.
The greatest service the Trust can provide to Bermuda’s low income seniors, is access to quality, safe, affordable housing. We are passionate about this. Affordable housing offers the most positive impact on our seniors quality of life and eases the burden placed on families who are supporting senior family members.
The Hon. John Barritt, JPChairman Read Bio
The Hon. John Barritt, JP
The Honourable John Barritt is a Consultant Attorney with MJM Limited and former Bermuda parliamentarian of 18 years experience in the Legislature. He joined MJM Limited following his retirement as a partner from the law firm Appleby Spurling and Kempe where he had a varied practice in litigation, conveyancing and trusts. He has appeared before the Courts of Bermuda at every level. He is a Justice of the Peace, Notary Public and a Commissioner of Oaths.
He is a former member of the Bermuda Legislature, having served as an elected Member of Parliament in the House of Assembly from 1993 until he stepped down in September 2011. He served in several different capacities during his tenure: from Government Whip to Cabinet Minister to Opposition Whip and Opposition House Leader and finally, upon his retirement, Leader of the Opposition.
Mr. Barritt holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Trent University, Ontario, a Bachelor of Journalism Degree (Honours) from Carleton University, Ontario and an LLB from the
University of Calgary. Alberta. Mr. Barritt was called to the Bar of the Province of Alberta and to the Bar of Bermuda in 1986.
His list of community involvement is long. He is currently serving as Chairman of the Bermuda Housing Trust for seniors.
Senator the Hon. Vance CampbellDeputy Chairman Read Bio
Senator the Hon. Vance Campbell
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Bruce WilkieChairman/Finance Read Bio
Mr. Wilkie is the owner of his own management, accounting and business consulting company, CAMMCO, established in 1985. Under Mr. Wilkie's leadership the company continues to flourish to today.
Mr Wilkie became a Certified General Accountant in 1973 and a Professional Administrator of The Institute of Chartered Secretaries and Administrators in Canada in 1985.
In addition and simulataneous with Mr. Wilkie's responsibilities at CAMMCO he has been:
President of the Bermuda Certified General Accountants Association
President and Chairman of the Board of Gorham's Limited
Vice President of the Reading Clinic
Rochelle SimonsTrustee Read Bio
Rochelle Simons is the principal consultant for Sound View Limited, a Bermuda company whose work embraces leadership development for women and business development in organizations. Separately, Rochelle holds non-executive director responsibilities.
An insurance practitioner by former profession, Rochelle is an Associate of the Chartered Insurance Institute (UK) and has more than 25 years’ experience in senior positions in the insurance industry.
Rochelle is active in the community. She is an Executive Committee Member of the Institute of Directors Bermuda Branch and she chairs the Branch Professional Development sub-committee.
Rochelle is also a founding member of the Centre for Leadership Bermuda, a Trustee of the Bermuda Housing Trust, a member of St. Mark’s Church Vestry and the Smith’s Parish Council. She has served as Chair of the Women’s Resource Centre, Trustee of the Bermuda High School for Girls and participant in the Aspen-Bermuda Racial Equity Partnership initiative.
Juan SmithTrustee Read Bio
Born and brought up in Bermuda - enjoy island living.
Interested in art, listening to music - live and recorded and stage performances.
Studied Architecture at Howard University in Washington D.C.
Studied Japanese then worked with 2 prestigious architectural firms in Tokyo, Japan. An unforgettable and treasured experience.
Currently working with Studio Design and owner/managing director for Oasis Spa Ltd - Bermuda.
Have a passion to create and engage with creative positive individuals with hope.
Fascinated with Asian cultures, temple architecture, landscaping, the arts and Bali Villas.
Believe in God. Interest in discovering God’s plan for my future.
Anthony MouchetteTrustee Read Bio
Anthony Mouchette is a former Police Officer with the Bermuda Police Service. He retired at the rank of Chief Inspector after 30 years of committed and dedicated service. He is now the Operations Manager of Shield Security Limited. He has been a trustee for the Bermuda Housing Trust for 4 years.
Scott StewartTrustee Read Bio
Approaching senior status himself, Scott is dedicated to the aims of the BHT to provide affordable housing for seniors. He serves on the investment committee of the BHT.
Scott also serves the community as a Charities Commissioner, a member of the Liquor Licensing Authority and the Pembroke Parish Council.
When not providing hospitality to Bermuda's tourists at his vacation apartments, Scott and his wife enjoy snorkelling and exploring Bermuda's marine parks.
Daniel RobinsonTrustee Read Bio
Daniel learned early in life that it is better to give than to receive. He received guidance from the senior members of his family, which influenced his decisions as an adult to
mentor young people and show care and concern to seniors.
One of his leadership roles in the community was becoming PTA President. Throughout his professional life, Daniel has excelled in the service industry, including rising through the ranks at BTC for over 35 years, becoming the Manager of Customer Service for 15 years.
The innocence of children and the wisdom of seniors has proven rewarding when they know you genuinely care.
In his spare time, Daniel enjoys photography, boating and loves to travel with his wife.
Cheryl Pooley-AlvesTrustee Read Bio
Cheryl Pooley-Alves attended St. Mary’s Catholic School on Government Hill and later attended high school in Zimbabwe and Bermuda, graduating from Mt St. Agnes Academy. She completed a printing apprenticeship at the Bermuda Press and later pursued professional development courses at Bermuda College in accounting, English and Corporate Secretary. She is a former parliamentary candidate and social activist and a founding member of Prison Fellowship Bermuda. Her hobbies include art, writing and swimming. Cheryl has a desire to serve the elderly in Bermuda and to contribute to the Bermuda Housing Trust and its housing community where her mother resided for 20 years at Elizabeth Hills Park. She is married with two adult children and works as a Corporate Administrator for a legal firm.
Thelma J Hart, JPTrustee Read Bio
Thelma J Hart, JP
Thelma has lived in the Parish of Southampton for her life time.
She retired from the Bermuda Public Services Union (BPSU) in 2013 as Training/Research Officer/Office Manager. During her 34 years of service she held a variety of posts and enjoyed building the capacity of the Union through a myriad of experiences and advocating for workers’ rights.
Thelma is a believer in life-long learning and attained a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Labour Studies and is a Certified Administrative Professional-Office Management (CAP-OM) as well as a Certified Tourism Ambassador (CTA). One of her fondest achievements was being the Founding President of the Bermuda Chapter of the International Association of Administrative Professionals (IAAP).
She previously served on the Bermuda Housing Trust board and looks forward to continuing to help the BHT to carry out its mission to service Bermuda’s senior community.
Her passion is to reach back and bring others along.
Sharon SmithOffice Administrator Read Bio
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Judy KnightPart Time Administrator Read Bio
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Gordon JohnsonPart-time Consultant Read Bio
Gordon Johnson, B.A., M.S.W. (University of Toronto) has worked in the field of non-profit development in Bermuda for more than two decades. Gordon has been contracted to assist the Bermuda Housing Trust to provide counsel and guidance in developing a culture of philanthropy and investment in the Trust.
Rhonda Smith-Simmons RN,BA,MBAResource Officer Read Bio
Rhonda Smith-Simmons RN,BA,MBA
During her long nursing career, Rhonda Smith-Simmons has worked in diverse specialty areas in Bermuda and the USA. Since 1994 however, her primary clinical focus has been caring for the elderly in both hospital and community settings.
Rhonda has also enjoyed the privilege of sharing her knowledge and experience with nursing assistant students at the Bermuda College and the community at large while employed as a health educator. In her leisure time, Rhonda enjoys walking, spending time with family and friends, singing in her church choir and travelling.
Financial StatementsMARCH 2015 Download
Financial StatementsMARCH 2014 Download
Financial StatementsMARCH 2016 Download
Financial StatementsMARCH 2017 Download
Financial StatementsMARCH 2018 Download
13 Cedar Avenue | Pembroke | HM 10
Mailing Address: P.O. Box 1875 | Hamilton | HM HX
E-mail: [email protected]