Bourne thankful

Christ Church East woman gets new home

After several years of living in deplorable conditions and pleading with authorities for a new dwelling, Marlene Bourne, 58, is the proud owner of a new place to call home.

Minister of Social Care and Constituency Empowerment Steve Blackett Tuesday morning handed Bourne the keys to a brand new three-bedroom house, which was provided under the Implementation Stabilization Enablement and Empowerment (ISEE) bridge programme of 2012, established to tackle intergenerational poverty.

It forms part of a wider poverty alleviation and reduction programme introduced some eight years ago, to assist Barbadians in desperate need of housing but who were unable to help themselves.

About 48 homes have either been repaired or rebuilt, each in the range of a “standard budget” of just over $70,000 under the programme, with another eight to be completed by the end of this year.

The new wooden structure which Bourne now occupies took just under five weeks to construct at the cost of $74,000, and was erected on the spot where the old broken down house was located in the Parish Land, Christ Church community, in the Christ Church East constituency.

Marlene Bourne (second from left) proudly stands outside her new home with MP for the area Dr Denis Lowe (left), her grand-daughter Jakeeya Inniss-White and Minister of Social Care and Constituency Empowerment Steve Blackett.

An elated Bourne said she would continue to share the dwelling with at least four of her grandchildren.

The former maid, landscaper, cheese maker and field worker gave birth to eight children, seven of whom are still alive.

“I feel great because the condition was bad,” said a shy Bourne, who has lived at the spot for more than ten years.

“I thank them for all that they have done for me,” she added.

Blackett said he did not hesitate when Member of Parliament for the area Dr Denis Lowe approached him after identifying Bourne as a deserving recipient under the programme.

Lowe, too, said he was happy that after “a long and arduous journey” for the Bourne family – one of the largest in his constituency –– they could now rest comfortably.

“They have consistently been supportive of the community and certainly today I am sure that many hearts are made glad because of the efforts of the Ministry of Social Care in providing this well deserving solution for the well deserving family,” said Lowe, recalling that the previous structure was “grossly dilapidated” and “you couldn’t walk through comfortably without being afraid to fall in”.

Postman Ricardo Benjamin has been delivering mail in the area for just over 15 years. An elated Benjamin told Barbados TODAY he was pleased that Bourne had received a new place to lay her head, given the condition of her previous dwelling.

“This makes me feel like, ‘wow’!” he exclaimed. “She is a good woman,” he added.

With Government facing a fiscal deficit and exploring ways to cut spending, Benjamin suggested that the provision of housing for those in need should continue.

“I don’t feel people in Barbados should be hungry and the Government spending money on this and money on that. They have some things that could definitely wait, but you see housing, that is a good thing,” Benjamin said. 

5 Responses to Bourne thankful

  1. Sunshine Sunny Shine April 12, 2017 at 12:17 am

    Way to go DLP. These last minute good deeds is sure to get a handful of votes from those whom you will give houses too and other household appliances. Good job.

    • Coralita April 12, 2017 at 6:19 pm

      If the government had allowed this family to continue living in the deplorable conditions, you would be the first to say they don’t have a heart, they don’t care about the people. They assisted and bare political shyte talk. Damned if you do, damned if you don’t. All political parties do these kinds of deeds all throughout their tenure in office.

      What the heck, give to as many people who need as you possibly can.

      All of this reminds me that it is not easy being a politician, but somebody has to do the dirty work.

  2. Jennifer April 12, 2017 at 6:25 am

    Now this is one of them type of cases that you really try not to respond too because you do not want to be a hypocrite.

  3. Jea Alleyne April 12, 2017 at 12:40 pm

    Hope to see many more like Ms Bourne being helped !!

  4. Kevin April 12, 2017 at 4:16 pm

    I feel very happy for this lady and her family.


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