HELP only for chosen few, says Clarke

Helping every one of Lashley’s people.

That, said former Minister of Housing and Lands Gline Clarke today, is what “people in Barbados” are calling a Government initiative to house Barbadians.

And the St. George North MP, claiming that only 30 per cent of houses built at Coverley had been transferred to Barbadians, also urged Government to give away these homes if they could not get them sold.

The HELP programme, Helping Every Last Person, was initiated after the current Administration came to office in January 2008 and is the responsibility of Minister of Housing and Lands Michael Lashley.

Speaking for the Opposition Barbados Labour Party after Lashley started debate on the new National Housing Corporation (Transfer of Terrace Units) Act, Clarke said HELP was not an original concept, and that the fairness of its implementation had been questioned.

“The HELP programme is an acronym for Housing Every Last Person, but what the people in Barbados are saying (is) that this HELP programme is really helping every one of Lashley’s people, that is what they are saying.

“A man came up to me this morning and tell me the HELP programme is really helping every one of Lashley’s people; I could not believe that somebody would say this to me,

“I agree that the minister has to help his people because as a Minister of Housing I have helped the people of St. George and I believe the minister must help his people in St. Philip in his constituency.

“But when the man could come and tell me the HELP programme is helping every one of Lashley’s people I agree that he must help his people, but there are other people that need help and I don’t understand what is happening,” Clarke said.

The BLP spokesman also suggested that since government appeared to be in a give-away mood it should do so with houses at Coverley.

“If you cannot sell Coverley give them away. Many Barbadians do not necessarily want to live at Coverley because of the conditionality that has been attached to them. I understand at Coverley in terms of the conveyancing that there are a lot conditions that Barbadians do not like,” he said.

“Even though the concept of zero lot line is something for urban Barbadians the restrictions are too much and that is one of the reasons why the transfer of title has been very slow.

“It is unfair to have those houses built and left out there. Maybe the Government, since they are in the give- away mode just before elections, give away the houses at Coverley too.” (SC)

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