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Minister of Housing instructs NHC to go after delinquent tenants

The financially struggling National Housing Corporation (NHC) is moving to crack down on delinquent tenants.

Minister of Housing Denis Kellman has instructed the statutory agency to call in tenants who are lagging behind with payments in a bid to clear up the outstanding amounts.

Kellman told Barbados TODAY the situation could not be allowed to continue unchecked, particularly in light of the persistent financial issues that have been plaguing the NHC.

Minister of Housing and Lands Denis Kellman.

Minister of Housing and Lands Denis Kellman.

“I’ve asked the NHC to call in all those who owe, work out a plan with them . . . In order for us to help other people, we must be able to have revenue,” Kellman said.

While he could not say how much money was owed or provide an estimate of how many tenants were delinquent, the minister acknowledged that the issue was a “really big problem”.

At the same time, he was clear that the NHC would be taking a “people’s approach” rather than a hardline position, bearing in mind the ongoing economic challenges in the country.

“What I’ve said to them [NHC] is if the world is in a crisis, people would be in a crisis too. The same way we would have a deficit, they would have a deficit too, but the same way we understand that we have to [meet] our commitments, they have to understand they have to pay theirs,” Kellman argued.

“We would take a people’s approach to it and that is, ‘ok, you’re in arrears, start paying the current’. We don’t feel proud to have to send someone to collect or to post a notice. Most of the time you see that happen, we would have written and we would have asked people to come and they ignore us. You cannot owe and ignore.”

The minister indicated his intention to meet with tenants, pointing out that he wanted to explain the situation to them directly.

“I prefer to speak to them so they would understand there’s a human approach to it and after I have spoken and the officials have spoken, and they [tenants] ignore, then any number could play because they would have been given the opportunity to come and make peace with their souls,” Kellman added.

5 Responses to CRACKDOWN

  1. Hamza Bourne
    Hamza Bourne March 3, 2015 at 1:51 am

    In what economic recession should you owe 25 dollars a week in rent they need to be evicted humane my ass

  2. Dan Vaughn
    Dan Vaughn March 3, 2015 at 3:52 am

    Should also crackdown on ministers buying expensive cars etc.

  3. Tony Webster March 3, 2015 at 5:50 am

    Odd. Shouldda had Esther pass a(nother) law that sez you must pay your rent. Alternatively, NHC board might dust-off a shelf somewhere, and find an actual policy about collecting rents, instead of awaiting such sporadic “go” signals.
    The Hon. Minister’s “explanatory statement” would have been better served by saying “no comment”. It’s either farce, or fiasco. Perhaps both.

  4. Alex Alleyne March 3, 2015 at 7:37 am

    If you cannot pay then what ,in the present financial situation of most people, money is a real problem . I remember when Politicans (when in opposition)told tenants not to pay the rent . This goes way back , not just started yesterday . Its sad that a Minister of housing can make a statement about a situation and can’t say how much money owed or the number of persons oweing . Go do the research and get the facts , then come to the press .

  5. Charles Worrell March 3, 2015 at 1:55 pm

    I believe Minister Kellman is to be fully supported here. This approach Sir, is the best one because while it will not hide those deliberately intent on not paying their rent, it will address the legitimate needs of those who are faced with some difficulty at this time.
    On the matter of enforcement, lets set up a ‘department’ to oversee the collection process, the meetings, appointments with the tenants, written undertakings to pay, and a monitorial system to ensure that agreements are being complied with. As far as updates go, I believe as a former member of the Civil service that this will be in place so as to keep the Minister posted as to the progress of this action.
    Throughout the years, much have been said to occupants by both governments but this is a new day and your approach Sir, is admirable but those of us who know a little about you, know, that you have always been in touch with people.

    Finally, it is my hope that all bajans can wrap their arms around this action and rather than politicize it, remember that these units represent perhaps the only remaining opportunities for Barbadians to own a home and this opportunity must be guarded by right thinking.

    BAJANS, lets do ourselves proud.!


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