Kellman defends NHC decision

Minister of Housing and Rural Development Denis Kellman has defended the decision of

the National Housing Corporation to sell some lots at the going market price.

Kellman offered this defence today on a local radio talk show, when asked

about the NHC’s decision to sell some Crown lands at $35 per square foot to

prospective homeowners.

The minister said: “The policy of selling some lots held by the NHC at $35 per square foot

was adopted in the 1990s. We have a mandate at the NHC to look after low income earners.

We have to determine if we are going to sell lots like private developers or . . . subsidize the

lots. We cannot continue to sell our lots at subsidized rates and then have people talking

about how much money the NHC was losing. We have to put lots on the market for a fair

market price.

“We have to raise enough revenue to run the NHC and at the same time provide lots for

the masses at subsidized rates. The NHC must be able to make a contribution to the National

Treasury, and that is where I will take it. The well off cannot expect to come and have access

to subsidized land. To avoid going to Parliament for supplementaries, the NHC must sell

some lots at the going market price.

“The NHC is a corporation. It is not an arm of the Government like the Child Care

Board. It is overseen by a board of directors. People have to recognize that there are some

agencies that will either break even or make a contribution to the National Treasury. We

have to say if we are only going to sell land to the poor or whether we are to allow the rich

to help the poor,” Kellman added.

Reminded that the Article 4 IMF Consultation had indicated that the NHC had lost its

focus by providing lots at $35 per square foot, Kellman gave Barbadians the assurance that he

did not have to wait on the IMF to make that observation indicating that he had come to that

conclusion while in opposition.

Addressing the issue of public/ private sector partnerships in the construction of houses,

Kellman argued that joint ventures were not always successful.

“The Opposition cannot show one joint venture project that they have made any

contribution to the National Treasury. The Democratic Labour Party is trying to reverse

that trend. Coverley will not record a loss for the Government. On the other hand, the joint

venture at Lancaster, St James, will record a little cost,” Kellman said.

The Minister of Housing gave prospective homeowners the assurance that lots earmarked

for lower income persons were not being sold at higher prices.

Kellman recalled that the DLP manifesto for the February 21 2013 general election, had

given lower income Barbadians the assurance that they wOULD be provided with lots at $15

per square foot. (NC)


2 Responses to Kellman defends NHC decision

  1. Tony Webster January 8, 2014 at 6:19 am

    National Housing Catastrophe! Now you know why the “touted” Freedom Of Information act…willl take a loooooooong time to see the searching light of day. May we dare say, thank God and Bless all our David Ellises of the Fourth Estate…who – as was done so expertly yesterday- shredded the cloak of secrecy that hid this particular horrendous sore. Each, like a leech, sucking-up taxpayer’s millions each month, …each feeding its own “army of occupation”…and elite masters.

    One wonders if a particular mout going to be opened so regularly, in the future?

  2. Freeagent January 8, 2014 at 8:51 am

    The National Corporation has provided hundreds of house lots to Barbadians, some not very needy, at five dollars a square foot. Why can’t it provide lots at $35 dollars a square to foot to persons who can afford them?

    I think that the corporation is being pro active.


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