Pastor Durant suggests jail time for landlords
A member of the clergy has called for a probe into exorbitant rental rates being charged to non-nationals by some Barbadian landlords for shoddy accommodations.
And Senator Reverend Dr David Durant is calling for those found guilty of taking advantage of foreigners to be locked up and their rental units shut down.
Durant, who was recently asked to intervene in a matter involving an 89-year-old woman, said she was paying $600 for one of eight small “cubicles” located downstairs the building where the landlord lived, and had to share kitchen and bathroom facilities with other families.
“Imagine a downstairs that should be maybe $1600 the most, they’re dividing it up and getting $600 each. When she took us to that room I couldn’t believe. All she had in there was a bed. A chair could hardly hold in there.
“That was not an isolated situation,” the senator said in a passionate statement on the matter during today’s Senate debate on the compulsory acquisition of land at Whitepark Road, The City.
“There are other situations like that around out island and you know most of them are renting to foreigners and we cannot treat our Caribbean people like this. We are brothers and sisters in this Caribbean and I don’t want Barbados’ name to be stained outside.” he added.
The woman was relocated to a facility for the elderly.
Senator Durant said he was also worried about residents, whom he described as being in the lower middle-class group, who do not qualify for a loan from a financial institution because they earn too little and are turned down by the National Housing Corporation because they earn too much.
“Many of them are really serving our country faithfully, some are teachers, some are Caricom workers but they in a no-win situation and I think we need to look at that to help alleviate that problem,” he said.