St Thomas MP wants help for displaced residents
Parliamentary representative for St Thomas Cynthia Forde has called on Government to reserve at least two or three units in every housing project for persons who have lost their homes through fire, flood or any other disaster.
Forde made this call yesterday while speaking in the House of Assembly on a land resolution pertaining to five parcels of the land at Sturges and Welchman Hall, St Thomas, for the facilitation of the Harrison’s Re-development Project.
“We saw the residents in the Speaker’s constituency who lost their homes earlier this year to fire. I would like the Minister of Housing to set aside two or three units in any new housing project for persons who, not through any fault of their own, have lost their house by flooding, by fire, by eviction, or by whatever natural disaster.
“At least there could be temporary accommodation for these victims,” she said, noting that there were “many women on the road today who are homeless because they were evicted or they are running from domestic violence”.
Speaking directly on the matter of the resolution, Forde said she knew more that 75 per cent of the persons whose properties were previously acquired by the Government.
“Some of these property owners are now deceased. Some of them were waiting for the funds and have died and gone on and have not received a red cent. Therefore I want the minister to give a few answers to these property owners,” Forde said.
Also pointing out that restrictions had been imposed on residents living near the cave, Forde said they were restricted from engaging in large- scale farming or using heavy fertilizers. She identified a resident who was relocated to St Lucy and had been reaping success as a small farmer.
“Many of the property owners are poor and hoped to bequeath their property to members of their families. There is no playing area. Residents have made representation for the provision of a playing area since the children would have to play in the area. The area too needs debushing. The residents have expressed an interest in participating in the activities as a community. The community input is as dead as the Dead Sea.”
The St Thomas MP called on officials of the Ministry of Housing to meet with residents of Allenview so that alternative lots could be identified for displaced residents who live near the attraction.