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Empty houses

Study raises Concern about unoccupied government units

A study conducted by four University of the West Indies (UWI) consultants has identified an astonishingly large number of unoccupied, state-owned housing units as an issue which needs to be addressed by Government.

The Barbados Habitat III Report, prepared for the United Nations Global Conference on Housing and Sustainable Urban Development next year, found that the number of unoccupied housing units had increased by a startling 117.9 per cent between 1990 and 2010. During the same period, the number of new homes rose by 14.6 per cent.

The findings of the report were presented and discussed at a consultation this morning. The report noted that the findings imply that the purported high level of unmet demand for homes may be superficial with the possibility that the supply of housing is inappropriate to the type demanded.

Dennis Kellman

Dennis Kellman

“The unoccupied in 1990 was just over 7,000 and 15,000 in 2010 country-wide.” Professor Andrew Downes, one of the four consultants who prepared the report, told the gathering that included Minister of Housing and Lands Dennis Kellman. “So we have a challenge in relation to unoccupied units that we need to address,” he added.

Professor Downes, the Vice Chancellor for Planning and Development, placed the findings against a backdrop of “no significant population growth” occurring during the 20 year period which was the focus of the study.

He told Barbados TODAY after the presentation that the issue involving unoccupied Government-owned housing units remained to this day.

He noted that consideration was being given to alternative housing solutions, including high rise apartments, to replace the cultural preference for the single, detached, low density option.

Addressing the issue of unoccupied homes, Kellman contended that Government had to ensure that prospective tenants were placed in units which were environmentally safe. He said the housing projects at The Grotto in St Michael and Constant in St George, which were yet to be occupied, should be ready by next month.

Speaking about another unoccupied project at Parish Land, St Philip, he said the delay was an environmental problem related to “how to deal with the sewerage system and so on”.  He explained: “. . . it is not just building houses and placing them, we also have to worry about the water supply of Barbados.”

Kellman thanked the Environmental Protection Department (EPD) which he said had come up with the best solution for the area, thus paving the way for prospective owners to take possession of the units after the project is completed probably before the end of the year.

He said Government could not do as it liked but had to conform to the requirements of the EPD. Explaining the delay related to the Grotto project, he said it faced financial issues brought on by the economic crisis. (EJ)

21 Responses to Empty houses

  1. Rawle Spooner
    Rawle Spooner November 26, 2015 at 6:10 am

    Not the least surprise.

  2. BaJan boy November 26, 2015 at 6:55 am

    These are the senseless,uncaring,selfish buffoons that bajans voted for. Our country continues to regress under these illiterate,self centred and shameless clowns who are all gloating in their so called big positions and are not used to anything in life. Yet the press continues to focus on the stupid Maria Agard issue when the issues that are truly affecting our people are put on the proverbial back burner…

  3. Peggy Stoute Morin
    Peggy Stoute Morin November 26, 2015 at 7:36 am

    Wake up everybody
    No more sleeping in bed
    No more backward thinking
    Time for thinking ahead

    In my best Teddy Pendergrass voice.

    • Panwallie November 30, 2015 at 5:00 pm

      luv it Peggy. Sing louder

  4. Donna November 26, 2015 at 7:51 am

    You didn’t know there would be “sewage and so on” to deal with BEFORE these houses were built and left to deteriorate? Something doesn’t smell right here!

  5. Samuel Morrison November 26, 2015 at 8:59 am

    I surely do not understand. Does the government own 15000 housing units. Surely not. I need to read the study. Bajanboy you make me laugh at your obvious stupidity. Illiterate. Hhaaaaa

  6. Janette Reifer
    Janette Reifer November 26, 2015 at 9:45 am

    He needs to continue weighting food at the restaurant because all he does to keep alot of loud wasteful noise saying nothing. Stupseeeeee

  7. st.clair worrell November 26, 2015 at 9:58 am

    I have to agree with bajan boy… Makes a lot of sense to me..

    • sunshinecanada November 26, 2015 at 4:42 pm

      I agree too, say it like it’s not Joke.

  8. Ryan Bayne
    Ryan Bayne November 26, 2015 at 10:18 am

    Soon from now, Kellman, there will be an empty chair in your house for a Bee to fill come next election.

  9. A Maria Benn
    A Maria Benn November 26, 2015 at 10:26 am

    This past participle of an unwashed backside.

    His parents tell him he can be anything, and he chose to be the backside of an ass.

  10. Ronnie Murrell
    Ronnie Murrell November 26, 2015 at 10:50 am

    We didn’t need a UWI study to see this.

  11. Heather Cole
    Heather Cole November 26, 2015 at 11:54 am

    15 000 reasons why the people in Barbados who need housing should not be celebrating independence.

  12. Roger Manning
    Roger Manning November 26, 2015 at 2:37 pm

    This will continue to happen way pass the next election. The focus of the modern politician is, personal bank account first. More housing projects means more kick backs from
    Construction companies. The end result is more unoccupied houses you did not need to build.

  13. Veroniva Boyce
    Veroniva Boyce November 26, 2015 at 5:13 pm
  14. The Phanton November 27, 2015 at 8:21 am

    Who in their right minds could have given this numbskull a ministry. The island is in crisis when we can’t do any better than Kellie.

  15. jrsmith November 27, 2015 at 3:29 pm

    Bajans be reminded, when you have a bunch of people who doesn’t know what to do , or when or which way to go, in a situation as ,try this , try that , hoping something works , noticing everything our politicians do, is questionable. just think the 15 year sewer issue, still not working, a failing infrastructure, no water coming from the taps, most of our roads have no center line markings, most of the roads have no safety markings. What do you expect. Its like or lump it.

  16. Sue Donym November 27, 2015 at 5:52 pm

    Alright, now you’ve really got my interest as to the breakdown of reasons for this many unoccupied units. I nearly had to lift my jaw off the floor when I read they still had to decide how to deal with basic sanitation issues. Yuh mean yuh was thinking bout giving de people pit toilets? Surely there was planning permission for the units – permission that included provision for appropriate facilities.

    I understand a few are always left for emergencies like for fire, flood and hurricane victims, but what good reasons could there be for over 15,000 units if this figure is accurate? BT did you not ask?

  17. Panwallie November 30, 2015 at 6:10 pm

    Imagine men who are supposed to be leaders were building houses as though they had won the cement lottery and now this? After this report why are they still Ministers, he and Lashley?


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