BLP calls out Kellman on housing policy

The Opposition Barbados Labour Party (BLP) is demanding that Minister of Housing Denis Kellman outlines a clear policy on housing.

Member of Parliament for St Michael Southeast Santia Bradshaw told Parliament this morning the National Housing Corporation (NHC) was in dire financial straits, and there appeared to be no logical method to the island’s housing programme.

The BLP spokesperson said while the Democratic Labour Party (DLP) administration boasted about building new homes, a lot of the current housing stock was in a state of disrepair and Kellman had not outlined a single plan to renovate them.    

“We can speak in glowing terms about what we are going to build, but if we do not address some of the dilapidated conditions that we see amongst our existing stock, then Madam Deputy Speaker, I believe we are going nowhere fast,” Bradshaw said.

She also criticized the apparent random nature of home distribution, charging that many of those in need were not benefitting from the DLP’s housing programme.

“Fixing a house for somebody, giving somebody a key, does not on its own solve the issues of accommodation in this country in relation to housing. You have densely populated areas in this country that there needs to be a resolution in relation to persons who, where the units were built in the 60s they were supposed to accommodate two and three persons, now the units are accommodating ten persons.

“What is the policy of the Democratic Labour Party in relation to this? It is not a case where the Government does not have and has not acquired lands. But what is the policy? Are you taking it step by step in relation to building out a society where persons can indeed feel that they can own a piece of the rock, or is it now dependent on whether a constituency is run by a minister, that persons only believe that they could … get a particular housing unit?” Bradshaw asked.

She also complained about the time it took for the authorities to identify lands for housing development, and to vest the land in the NHC.

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