Wednesday, Nov 14, 2018

House tackles housing

House tackles housing
06 Nov
2018

Barbados needs a clear housing policy, and it must include provisions for people who need shelter in the event of an emergency.

This is the view of Education Minister Santia Bradshaw, who was making her first appearance in the Lower House since beginning treatment for breast cancer.

Ms Bradshaw says the housing policy in the United Kingdom is a good example of what can be done in Barbados, if resources are properly used.

And in this context, Ms Bradshaw says the Barbados Labour Party didn't come to office to lay people off, but to ensure the systems already in place, begin to work in the way they should.

Pay your rent...

This is the advice from Minister in the Ministry of Transport, Works and Maintenance Peter Phillips, to the National Housing Corporation's tenants who are in arrears.

Minister Phillips notes that many Barbadians, especially young people are interested in owning their own homes.

He says however, when delinquent tenants do not hold up their end of the bargain, it makes it difficult for the NHC to do its work and provide housing solutions for others.

Minister Phillips was leading off debate on a resolution to vest land at Cluffs, St. Lucy to the NHC.

He also condemned those who own their homes but rent them out while living in NHC units.

Meanwhile Barbadians are being told again that they need to take home insurance very seriously.

This time it’s coming from the Labour Minister Colin Jordan.

He says there is still a culture that exists where some people see it as a waste of money and this needs to change urgently.

Member of Parliament for St. Michael West Central Ian Gooding-Edghill thinks government may need to look at making amendments to the legislation regarding government units.

He says people living in these units, should be allowed to expand them, but cannot do so at present under the law.

The housing units in Haynesville, St James should soon get some attention.

MP for the area, Sandra Husbands, says she's been advised the Ministry of Housing has received the funding needed to start a rewiring project in that community.

Speaking the post lunch session in the Lower House, she said the ongoing problem of faulty electricals in the units have made them unsafe.

Ms Husbands adds the work that has to be done on these units is just part of a bigger problem with housing in Barbados.

Opposition leader Bishop Joseph Atherley has suggested the National Housing Corporation review its priorities.

He says at this time, the Corporation's focus should be on making it easier for low income earners to be property and land owners, and provide for themselves.

Bishop Atherley also suggests review the issue of foreign ownership of land.

Member of Parliament for St James North Edmund Hinkson thinks that some portions of the proposed building code could be implemented.

Mr. Hinkson, who is also the Home Affairs Minister, says Barbados needs to start taking the issue of preparedness seriously.

He is concerned that for six months every year Barbadians face the possibility of being hit by a hurricane or some other natural disaster, but they are still not doing enough to prepare in the event that something happens.

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