NHC ten­ants ‘must pay up’

Daily Nation (Barbados) - - Parliament -

Pay the thou­sands of dol­lars owed the Na­tional Hous­ing Cor­po­ra­tion (NHC) so it can pro­vide hous­ing for Bar­ba­di­ans in des­per­ate need.

Mem­ber of Par­lia­ment for St Lucy, Peter Phillips, ap­pealed to ten­ants with long­stand­ing ar­rears on Tues­day dur­ing de­bate in the House of As­sem­bly on a res­o­lu­tion to ap­prove the vest­ing of land at Cluffs, St Lucy in the NHC for the “Sites and Ser­vice Project”.

The 8 265.1 sq.m.of land is part of a larger par­cel ac­quired by Govern­ment in 1991 for ho­su­ing devel­op­ment.

Phillips crit­i­cised those who re­fused to pay, in some cases con­tin­u­ing to oc­cupy NHC units even as they col­lected rent for houses they had since built for them­selves.

He said some peo­ple who owed rent re­vealed they had been told not to pay up, but warned: “It is wrong . . . be­cause if you owe the Na­tional Hous­ing Cor­po­ra­tion, you are pre­vent­ing that or­gan­i­sa­tion from ex­pand­ing and car­ry­ing out the work and ex­pand­ing and pro­vid­ing more so­lu­tions for per­sons across this coun­try.”

The Min­is­ter in the Min­istry of Trans­port and Works ad­vised Govern­ment to carry out a sur­vey and end the prac­tice.

Phillips em­pathised with squat­ters, whom he as­serted might have been forced into that po­si­tion af­ter frus­trated ef­forts to se­cure “a piece of the rock” through the cor­rect channels. He sug­gested the ac­tion was symp­to­matic of the dire need for land and hous­ing, in­di­cated by about 30 000 ap­pli­ca­tions in the NHC.

Phillips rapped the Demo­cratic Labour Party Govern­ment for fail­ing to take ad­van­tage of a BDS$60 mil­lion loan made avail­able by the In­ter-amer­i­can Devel­op­ment Bank for hous­ing up­grades in cer­tain named ar­eas six years ago.

He urged Govern­ment to re­visit plans for the Pick­er­ing project ini­ti­ated by the late Prime Min­is­ter David Thomp­son, in which it was pro­posed to build over 1100 houses, a pri­vate school, and bus ter­mi­nal and in­stall a wide range of fa­cil­i­ties to de­velop the north­ern parish.

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