|Top News > local|
More homes on the way
By Shawn Cumberbatch
GOVERNMENT is about to get cracking on two new housing initiatives on opposite sides of the island that will offer Barbadians 3 500 new housing
Additionally, Minister of Housing and Lands Michael Lashley announced yesterday that the public would “very shortly” have access to the promised lots at $5 a square foot.
Speaking in Four Hill, St. Peter at the third launch of the Housing Every Last Person (HELP) Government initiative, Lashley said authorities had “now started the acquisition process” at Bushy Park in St. Philip for land that “can give us at least 2 500 houses”, while from January land at Spring Hall, St. Lucy would be used to provide over 1 000 house lots.
Lashley made the disclosures as he knocked the former Government’s housing efforts including what he deemed a disappointing Primary Homes Programme, and it’s allowing Crown land to “lie idle” across Barbados.
On this score he said, “I can tell you that speaking as of now that very shortly we will be ready to release and to convey lots to Barbadians at $5 a square foot. These are lands that we found in tenantries that have the services already attached.”
The Minister questioned how unlike the previous Barbados Labour Party administration “that we can then go through National Housing (Corporation) estates and recognise lands lying idle for years, when Barbadians were knocking down the National Housing Corporation doors pleading and begging for land”.
“The property of the Crown, the property of the National Housing Corporation we can now find land in the Pine, we can now find land in St. George, the property of the National Housing Corporation. We can now find land in St. Lucy, the property of the Crown lying idle, but the former administration decided that they would not touch those lands,” he asserted.
“But the emphasis was on the west coast to develop lands to a particular class of Barbadians, while the other part of Barbados was suffering for land, suffering for housing and the land was there available. But that will not happen under this administration. Lands owned by the Crown suitable for housing, given the permission by the town planner will not remain idle, it will be used for the benefit and for the purpose of housing Barbadians who want houses, and who have a desire and a dream to own a piece of this rock. So as I said before you can talk, but you must back it with action,” he added.
Lashley also used the example of land at Coverley, Christ Church, noting that after also “lying idle” because of inaction by the former administration, his Ministry had been successful in getting this project going.
“Two hundred and twenty lots at Coverley and all they needed to do is approach Town Planning, use your negotiating skills, set up your meetings with the various agencies and come to a position. And so we have done that and the town planner has agreed that we can start phase one with 220 lots. So it is not about talk it is about action,” he reiterated.
Following yesterdays’ launch, Lashley said, other ground breaking ceremonies would take place at places including Constant and Greens in St. George, Coverley and French Village, St. Peter.
“I am saying the remit of this government is to provide housing solutions for all Barbadians. The remit of this government is to ensure that contractors deliver a quality product at the end of the day for Barbadians,” he said.