Gift from Gov’t

Prime Minister Freundel Stuart tests the bed in this new NHC home this evening.
Prime Minister Freundel Stuart tests the bed in this new NHC home this evening.

One hundred and fifty more low-income families in Barbados will receive the keys to their homes next week.

This was revealed this afternoon by Minister of Housing and Lands, Michael Lashley, while addressing the formal handing over of 16 quad housing units at Forde’s Road, Clapham in Christ Church.

Lashley said the families will be moving into the homes at the high-rise complex at Valerie in Brittons Hill, St. Michael. He noted that these would add to the 2,020 families already housed by the National Housing Corporation between 2008 and today.

“And certainly, the fact that Valerie, which is the first high-rise building to be built in Barbados because it is much taller than London Bourne Towers, it is ready and the allocation process, I believe is about ready, and that would give housing to another 150 families in Barbados again, sometime next week,” announced the housing minister.

He gave the assurance that Government was also pushing ahead with plans to make access to land more affordable and convenient for citizens, especially those who can’t afford to buy it on the private market.

“We have acquired many spots of land across Barbados,” the Cabinet member observed, “and we are basically now in possession of the Town Planning permission for more than 300 of those lots that we have acquired and we have done the allocation process; and I am very certain that within a couple of days, Barbadians will have agreements for sale in their hands that will be followed by a conveyance.”

High cost of land

Lashley said the Government recognised the high cost of land in the island, considering that when one went to the private market, one had to start from $15 per square foot.

“So those Barbadians who want land, can now come to the National Housing Corporation and apply to this particular special programme, separate and distinct from the programme, or the regime of the Tenantries Freehold Act; but it is a social programme, because we believe Barbados is a society,” he declared.

He disclosed that there were plots of land ready in such places as Clifton Hill, St. John, and Vineyard in St. Philip. Lashley told this afternoon’s handing over ceremony that included Prime Minister Freundel Stuart, that these pieces of land of about 3,500 square feet, would cost between $17,000 and $20,000 each.

He promised that the state-owned NHC would not only be delivering lots for sale, but would be lending a helping hand to those building on them. The minister pledged that the corporation would make available, its skilled artisans as well as its approved housing plans to assist the prospective property owners in making their dreams come true.

He said Cabinet, having agreed to the NHC’s urban high rise housing programme, intended to enter the second phase with the construction of 96 units at Exmouth Gardens. He pointed out that Town Planning permission had already been given for this.

Fifteen of the 16 families who will shortly move into their housing units at Forde’s Road, Clapham, were present to receive their keys this afternoon from Prime Minister Stuart. (EJ)

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