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Region to look at local housing project says PM

Region to look at  local housing project says PM


St. Vincent and the Grenadines must really be doing something right with its housing project and measures that were implemented during the Carnival celebration.

This notion was expressed by Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves, Area Representative for North Central Windward, as he addressed scores of constituents who had braved rainy conditions to attend the handing-over ceremony of 14 low-income houses at Basin Hole, Colonarie.{{more}}

The elated Prime Minister stated that the Governments of St. Kitts, Dominica, and Barbados have expressed interest in the housing programme and have sent, (and in the case of Barbados) will be sending a team to view the programme.

“We really must be doing something right in this country that all the countries want to come and see what we are doing,” said Dr. Gonsalves, adding that Prime Minister Keith Mitchell of Grenada has also expressed interest in St.Vincent and the Grenadines “No Bottle Policy” that was used during Vincy Mas 2006.

The Prime Minister used the opportunity to announce that some persons who will be relocated at the Colonarie low income housing project, had their homes damaged by storms a year or two ago. Some home owners affected will receive a package of assistance from government worth over $16, 000, while those who had practically zero will be given a credit of $16, 000.

“That is why it has been so difficult to put some people in,” said Dr. Gonsalves.

“I must say if we give you $16,000 which is essentially free you must admit that that is a substantial help which the government is providing for a person who had a difficulty in front of seawater mouth,” the Prime Minister said, explaining that the government is providing the help because it wants to make sure “nobody else goes on the spot in front of seawater mouth”.

“I don’t want when the storms rage again, whether this year or next year, another set of people come to me and say ‘well I want the $16, 000 too, like wey yuh did give Mary and Thomas’,” Dr. Gonsalves explained.

This is the eighth site where houses have been built by the Housing and Land Development Corporation (HLDC). Houses have been erected in Brighton, Green Hill, Ottley Hall, Peter’s Hope, Petit Bordel, Diamond and San Souci. Houses are also in progress in Fitz Hughes and Byera and a number of houses are under construction on privately owned land, which the HLDC are building in agreement with the private individuals.

And the Prime Minister mentioned that work will commence soon in Clare Valley. He said Clare Valley will be the largest housing project that the government is building. One hundred homes will be constructed there.

The Prime Minister appeared to be in a rejuvenated political spirit after taking a break from the political platform following the December 7 general elections. He used the opportunity to take a swipe at the Opposition New Democratic Party (NDP).

“When the history of housing construction throughout the whole country is written there will be three leaders that history will recall built houses: Joshua, Cato and Comrade Ralph. You will not see James Mitchell name there and you will not see anybody from the New Democratic Party,” said Dr. Gonsalves to loud applause from his constituents.

“Massa day done and they could jump high, they could jump low, NDP days done,” Dr. Gonsalves stressed with his rhetoric as he ended his speech.

Brian George, General Manager of the HLDC, in his address said, personally, he has received a lot of praise for the job that was done but he wants to state publicly without the support, encouragement and hard work of each member of the HLDC “we would not have achieved not even a quarter of what have been done”.

“I am only getting the praise because of the hard work which they have done and I think they should be commended for it,” said George.