Kellman and Inniss react to Haynesville fire

Minister of Housing Denis Kellman and his Cabinet colleague, the Member of Parliament for St James South, Donville Inniss, appear to differ over who is responsible for maintaining National Housing Corporation (NHC) units in Haynesville, St James.

Following a Boxing Day fire which destroyed one dwelling and damaged two neighbouring units, and which some residents blamed on faulty electrical wiring, Kellman told Barbados TODAY the units were “technically owned” by the occupants since they fell under the rent-to-own programme, and therefore it was up to them to rewire their homes if they so desired.

Denis Kellman and Donville Inniss

“Technically, the only thing that is left to the tenant now is for them to receive their conveyances, which I am pushing for them to receive . . . but technically they are the owners of the property just awaiting the transfer,” he said.

“There is nothing stopping the residents from going ahead and behaving as if the homes are theirs by doing all the necessary things that need to be done. I have made this statement over and over,” he added, while going on to insist that tenants in Government housing across the country who are concerned about safety should make the necessary legal changes once they own the units, even if they were awaiting the title deeds.

However, while not directly contradicting Kellman, a cautious Inniss said that was a “grey area”.

“The legal issue remains as to who shall be responsible for matters such as maintenance of the property and insurance, and that I submit to you, is the little grey area there,” Inniss said.

It was in the wee hours of Boxing Day that 48-year-old Sinclair Alleyne lost his home to the blaze, which also damaged two other housing units.

Residents have long feared outright disaster due to what they complain is faulty wiring.

After fire destroyed one of three bedrooms in one of the NHC units occupied by a family of three in late October, 43-year-old Ryan Odle, who shared that unit with his mother, Judy Carrington, and his seven-year-old daughter, told Barbados TODAY it was plagued by some kind of electrical fault.

“We got a problem with [electricity] here. . . . I does got to buy bulbs every two weeks. The plugs ain’t working. These units want rewiring,” he said then.

While pointing to a box that housed the electrical meters for the five units that make up his block, Odle also complained that “the last time someone from [NHC] come and fix the box, they did the job halfway and left it.

“All they come and do was put on a piece of electrical tape and left it exposed,” he said, while reporting that as a result of a fire, which had broken out in the box three months earlier, the NHC had bypassed the main breakers and ran electricity directly to the unit.

Back then Kellman had said the NHC was in the process of carrying out an assessment the situation, and had promised that Government would take whatever remedial action was necessary.

“As you know we are doing the 20-year programme – the engineering work and all those things are being done right across the board and I will have to check to see how far advanced that is in this particular area. But the engineers are seeking to bring closure to these issues,” he told Barbados TODAY at the time.

Opposition Barbados Labour Party (BLP) candidate for the area Sandra Husbands had also called on Government and the NHC to quickly resolve the problems facing the resident in the development, which is over 40 years old.

Husbands had noted that there had been similar fires in the neighbourhood in recent times, adding that she was fearful that an entire block would eventually go up in flames if the current problems were left unchecked.

“I want to appeal to Government, I want to appeal to the NHC . . . . We need to address this problem before people lose more of their property or someone loses their life,” Husbands said then.

Today, the BLP candidate repeated her charge that tenants had been ignored despite a petition bearing close to 200 signatures demanding that the NHC makes rewiring of the Haynesville units a priority.

However, with Alleyne having been the tenant at the unit for more than 25 years, Kellman stressed that it would “technically” not be Government’s responsibility to make any of the desired changes to the premises unless the tenant was still paying for the unit.

“Technically it is not the fault of the Government because if you are living in a house and the house is going to be yours and there is a problem, I think the best thing to do to protect yourself is to make sure that it is right.

“If they are under the 20-year programme, technically the house has been transferred and they would not be paying rent and the social responsibility will follow to them because the only thing that they will be awaiting now will be the documentation to show true ownership,” he stressed, while adding that the NHC should “correct those problems” experienced by those still paying rent.

The minister could not say how many tenants were awaiting their conveyances or how long they would have to wait, nor could he give the delinquency rate for tenants still under the rent-to-own housing programme.

28 Responses to Kellman and Inniss react to Haynesville fire

  1. Joan Crawford
    Joan Crawford December 27, 2017 at 11:38 pm

    Stupseeee kellman going check your scale

  2. Buun December 28, 2017 at 12:51 am

    Can you technical own something without proof of ownership?

    I think the DLPs need to hire Mia as they lawyer to get answers to these questions since they have no answers for the people.

  3. Boyce Jr Angus
    Boyce Jr Angus December 28, 2017 at 2:37 am


  4. hcalndre December 28, 2017 at 2:44 am

    @this menace; how can these poor people own the property with nothing to show and why would someone buy a house to live in when it is really not safe. These people have found themselves in this situation because they are poor and a government that is incompetent who cares only about themselves. I`m sure that there is a time span after the purchase that the original owners could be libel if some thing goes wrong unless it is in the contract. The units that the government is renting and selling to the poor people have many violations, I`ll bet no one from the government office goes to houses and ask the tenants if there`s any problems, window guards if they are under age children, peeling paint in their apartment and things like that.

  5. LadyRhonda Haynes-Sobers
    LadyRhonda Haynes-Sobers December 28, 2017 at 4:37 am

    Technically is the new word now

  6. Tony Webster December 28, 2017 at 6:36 am

    Technically, I think that tHe Hon. Minister of Housing and Shooting-Offa-mouth-disease, has long outlived his usefulness, and might do well if someone close to him would explain to him why it is better to stay silent and be thought a fool, than to speak and to remove all doubt. Technically speaking.

  7. BIG SKY December 28, 2017 at 6:54 am

    Technically you are wrong,Mr.Kellman when something negative happens, the people own the units but when they try to build a shop or hair salon on the said units, Technically it belongs to the Government.

  8. BIG SKY December 28, 2017 at 6:57 am

    I got a PARROT for CHRISTMAS but was looking for a suitable name.I think I will call my PARROT,DENIS KELLMAN. On the other hand this would be an insult to my PARROT.

  9. Loraine Bovell Warner
    Loraine Bovell Warner December 28, 2017 at 7:51 am

    Look lol ….i can’t deal with these ministers

  10. Tony Wiggins December 28, 2017 at 8:30 am


  11. Alex Alleyne December 28, 2017 at 8:57 am

    Bring a LAW SUIT against the Crown and we all will know for sure “who own the Units”.

  12. Veroniva Boyce
    Veroniva Boyce December 28, 2017 at 9:13 am

    The Jester of MoonTown a simple question, whose responsibility is it regarding the electrical wiring and building insurance of the NHC Property? The only grey area the tenant can see is smoke!
    Technically, Kellman is an idiot!

  13. Alex Alleyne December 28, 2017 at 10:48 am

    Technically Kelly, You ever tried to check out the price or tried to rewire a wall unit that never had conduit in the walls ?. The government regulations will wipe out most if not all of those persons bank account living in all Government units.

  14. Lauretta Smith
    Lauretta Smith December 28, 2017 at 10:51 am

    I think that Dennis is not doing a good job as minister of housing all he does is talk a lot of nonsense time for him to go

    • lime juice December 28, 2017 at 6:44 pm

      He is going, this is he last trust me on this one I from St Lucy Peter Phillips all thee way. All through St Lucy right now is Peter Phillips Peter Phillips Peter Phillips. that browling joker got to go. embarrassment

  15. Helicopter(8P) December 28, 2017 at 11:28 am

    Technically; land lord tennent law stipulates that before lease or sale of a property all functioning utilities should be inspected and made proper before handover!

  16. jrsmith December 28, 2017 at 11:30 am

    One is enough ,but 2 all at the same time ,in the same place what a mess , see nothing has been learnt by our government ministers……………….

  17. Dick Tracy December 28, 2017 at 1:06 pm

    If correct (rent to own) the responsibility for repairs falls on the tenant(owner) as long as that agreement is in effect! I would like the bank to make all the repairs for me, if I was in the same situation, but that won’t happen since I’m legally responsible.

    Just drive by these units, and their complaining of rewiring, when outside they have parked new Toyota’s, added carports, etc….To much freeness.

    • hcalndre December 28, 2017 at 9:26 pm

      @dick Tracy; are you the Dick Tracy from the comic books? you should have been long gone. What documents do these poor people have to say that they are the owners of the houses? Owning a car is enough to say that they own the unit.

  18. Greengiant December 28, 2017 at 1:36 pm

    The usual nonsense from these established parties, technically the tenant can’t make any adjustments, changes or upgrades to the property until they have titles.

    The N H C will have to give them an M O U, and actually any corrective maintenance done by the tenant would be deemed refundable in any court of law. This is typical of the government and opposition parties. “Husbands is criticizing the government for the mess in which her party left the tenants in Haynesville and other estates across the island, yet she’s not going out on a limb to tell the tenants that they can address defects identified by any qualified engineer, then serve a class action suit on government to recover their maintenance, engineering and legal cost cost”.
    Is she afraid the advice can return to haunt her party if they win the next election? Remember the B L P started to sell these same houses to the people. So under the D L P persons can own the houses free of cost after living in them for a period of time, or invest in a rent to own scheme. while under the B L P, if they couldn’t afford to pay the will rent for a lifetime.

    The B L P should leave the word housing out of their program entirely. Under their governance one minister built some birds that couldn’t fly out of country road, another had joint venture agreements with Del Sol, South Park and others that were total failures, with many of the owners having to complete their own houses. While another housing minister left the tax payers deep in dept after engaging the corporation in a failed commercial project. So can anyone tell me what’s the opposition’s claim to fame on housing? Little patch work by Urban and Rural can’t be considered housing development.

    Yes this administration has lost it’s way, they have inflicted some harsh measures on the citizens of this country, but the opposition is not the alternative for the country at this time. History, particularly ‘recent history’ speaks loudly against the B L P in several sectors of this country. Oh just in case there is any effort to compare the better of the two, “politically like most other things, there is absolutely no better of two evils, as evil is not good so you can’t get a better from the two”.

  19. milli watt December 28, 2017 at 2:39 pm

    I believe this is the issue to take both them out the race……..for sure ()ornville can’t win that box as for the menace it is about time he take up weighing food full time.

  20. Alex Alleyne December 28, 2017 at 3:15 pm

    @Dick-T, if you do the numbers you will find out that the New Car thing park out front to compare with the persons living in the Units just wont add-up. I do believe that all in all BAJANS were fed on a diet of “freeness” for too long. The PM put his buddie Kelly in a “money making spot” of which he has no clue of what has to be done or what is going on.” He was let out in a pasture like a sheep without a neck rope”……..Go graze.

  21. fedup December 28, 2017 at 3:30 pm

    Dem gine deny dat Dem fighting..

  22. straight talk December 28, 2017 at 6:33 pm

    TECHNICALLY kellman always talking a lot of C U Next Tuesday. The people are renting to own the units but TECHNICALLY that does not means that the occupants own the units and that is simply because they are still awaiting transfers, so TECHNICALLY the government is still the owners of these units and should be carrying out all the necessary repairs that required cause the people have not even received conveyances.

  23. luther thorne December 28, 2017 at 8:56 pm

    Straight Talk ! yuh Bad.!
    I like your take
    “TECHNICALLY kellman always talking a lot of C U Next Tuesday. “

  24. luther thorne December 28, 2017 at 9:05 pm

    So disappointing !!

  25. Ossie Moore December 29, 2017 at 3:41 pm

    Stop calling people Bajan Black bellies up in here!! We should be addressing person with their correct titles as a matter of fact! Let me hear you say Your honor! or the Honorable Minister; on a point of order. I’m sure Owen will agree with what I say!

    • hcalndre December 31, 2017 at 3:02 pm

      @Ossie Moore; that`s why the queen will always be the head of State of Barbados because the bajans want the handles like Sir, GG., Honorable and all the alphabet letters in front and behind their names.


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