Kellman: Grotto apartments to be occupied by Christmas

After two years of delay, the controversial Grotto apartments at Dalkeith Road, St Michael could finally be occupied by Christmas.

Minister of Housing Denis Kellman said after some setbacks, the first tenants would be moving into one block in time for the holiday.

“I would expect persons to move in before Christmas. It has always been our aim to ensure that was a deliverable. But as you know these things happen, there were a couple blown tiles and we didn’t want people to be in while workmen are working. We have completed a block already and we will now go through and see what else we can do,” Kellman told Barbados TODAY on the sidelines of his annual Christmas party for the children in
St Lucy.

The high-rise complex is made up of five blocks altogether, but the minister did not say when the remaining four would be occupied.

“[There are] five blocks in all . . . . That is where a lot of the parking spaces have been taken up. One has to be careful when one considers the location, how many cars you attract to the location and so on because you don’t want to create gridlock,” Kellman explained.

He revealed that the first block would house 16 families, but he did not specify whether they would be low income.

The National Housing Corporation (NHC) apartments were originally intended to be rented out to low-income earners.

However, earlier this year the Opposition Barbados Labour Party charged that three-quarters of the blocks would go to high income earners instead.

Member of Parliament for St James Central Kerrie Symmonds said at the time the BLP had been in possession of documents outlining Government’s plans to rent out 60 of the 80 apartments for $1,500 and upwards monthly to persons earning $5,000 plus.

“Those units were conceived to bring housing resolutions to the poor people of the land. But there is not a citizen of Barbados with an application at the National Housing Corporation that has been told ‘one of those 80 units is for you and your family,’” Symmonds said then.

During the meeting held in April of this year, Symmonds had told the gathering  Government had decided since September of last year, ‘that they were going to rent out units up at the Grotto for the maximum possible return. The plan [is] . . . that the first 40 of those units going to people who earn between $6,000 and $5,000 a month . . . for people who can pay $1,800 or $1,900 a month in rent.

“The second 20 of those 80 are to go to people who are able to pay $1,500 a month in rent,” said Symmonds,

Kellman himself had hinted at targeting a more upscale clientele, announcing in January 2015 that the apartments could go on the market for as much as $450,000 each as one way to bring in money for the cash-strapped NHC.

12 Responses to Kellman: Grotto apartments to be occupied by Christmas

  1. Tony Webster December 13, 2016 at 3:26 am

    Kellmanomics; Kellmajokes; Kellmastories.

    Coming soon to a polling booth near you: Kellmahistory.

    Reply
  2. Lilian Lloyd
    Lilian Lloyd December 13, 2016 at 7:24 am

    AHHAHAHAHA

    Reply
  3. Santini More
    Santini More December 13, 2016 at 8:20 am

    Ok I am confused. Why is this Govt providing housing for people who can afford $1500 a month rent? Surely the Govt should be focusing its money and resources on housing the poorest families. There are plenty of private residences on the market to be rented at $1500 but very little below $700. What are these incompetent buffoons really doing?

    Reply
    • Natalia Reid
      Natalia Reid December 13, 2016 at 8:41 am

      The level of disregard that this government has shown to this country for the past however many years has just been blowing my mind. It just seems like everything is happening now all at once, things that should have been dealt with in full, but just been swept under the rug…I just don’t know

      Reply
  4. Natalia Reid
    Natalia Reid December 13, 2016 at 8:39 am

    $1500 a month and upwards…so who are these units really for again? When some people don’t even work for $1000 a month??? Lemme just be grateful for this roof over my head and walls around me, that I don’t have to depend on this government to house me…smh

    Reply
  5. Ralph Hall
    Ralph Hall December 13, 2016 at 9:43 am

    Them ain’t no apartments,that’s the projects

    Reply
  6. Paul Chestnut
    Paul Chestnut December 13, 2016 at 10:10 am

    Those apartments are going to the upper echelon of the society…

    Reply
  7. Ossie Moore December 13, 2016 at 10:53 am

    Which one was made first Cranium or penal appendage?

    Reply
  8. kathy-Ann Clarke December 13, 2016 at 3:20 pm

    Ok, so the Government really not helping the poor man. Things that make you go HMMMM, any ways , what about the houses in St. Philip, that all the bush taking over, and the other Housing Projects that they built that still needs occupants. It real hard for a low income person to own their own home in this Island.

    Reply
  9. DAMN SHAME December 13, 2016 at 5:02 pm

    WHAT A MESS

    Reply
  10. Chris Wright December 14, 2016 at 12:27 am

    I must say I agree with you Paul. I drove by there during my recent visit for the 50th, and was wondering why they were not occupied. After seeing them and the location, there is no way they will be occupied by poor people. Something tells me that most of them will be sold and/or some “insiders” may rent them and then sublet them if there is no transparency or monitoring of the owner taking up residency. LOOK OUT.

    Reply
  11. North Point December 15, 2016 at 5:00 pm

    Santa I have be naughty, but mostly nice for 2016, can I get a lil two bedroom apartment please, I promise that I gine pay when I ever I get money, any floor will do. its your grand son, “North Point”.

    Reply

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