Deacons’ delight

Residents rejoice at news they would soon own their homes

A number of residents of Deacons Farm, St Michael were in a jubilant mood today, revelling in the expectation that they could soon become homeowners.

Minister of Finance Chris Sinckler announced last Friday, as he led off debate on a resolution to vest land at Deacons in the National Housing Corporation, that more than 1,400 housing units had been surveyed and would be officially transferred to occupants in a matter of weeks.

Sinckler, the Member of Parliament for St Michael North West, which includes Deacons Farm, said 3,032 people in total, inclusive of 500 from his constituency, would receive their papers.

When Barbados TODAY visited Deacons Farm this morning, the future owners of the housing units, many of whom revealed they had not paid rent for quite some time, said they were looking forward to receiving the papers that would officially confirm them as property owners.

“Well you have to say ‘officially own’ because I haven’t paid rent in a while, but to get the papers I will be very proud,” Ena Browne, who has resided in the area for over 40 years, said.

Ena Browne

“If you have to do business you can now show that you are the owner. I know the time was going to come. Nothing happens before its time. So I don’t think it is overdue, I thank God that I’m living to see this time.”

The announcement has been criticized by the Opposition Barbados Labour Party (BLP) as political gimmickry, with BLP spokeswoman on Government business Santia Bradshaw questioning the timing, pointing out that it was coming on the eve of a general election after the ruling Democratic Labour Party (DLP) had approximately ten years in which to make the transfers.

It made no difference to Sinckler supporter Monica Holder, who said there was no need for her representative to shower homes on the constituency for him to retain the seat.

Monica Holder

“I feel very grateful. It is about time. I would say it is overdue but they had to take time to get the land surveyed. Good things come to those who wait. I don’t know the last time I pay rent to be honest,” the 78-year-old Holder said.

“People are saying, why wait until the eve of the election to give houses to get another vote? Mr Sinckler doesn’t have to give away houses to get another vote, his votes are here for him already, so he doesn’t have to give away anything. We are here for him regardless of what people say.”

Meanwhile Calvin Weekes told Barbados TODAY the transfers were a long time in coming, and he was simply awaiting official proof of ownership.    

“We practically own the houses already, but we have no papers. I feel that it is time enough for us to get the papers. There are so much promises that have been made you just have to wait and see,” he said.

Calvin Weekes

Another resident who requested anonymity was singing the same tune, but believed Government was using the housing issue as an opportunity to gain votes.

“I am grateful, but we have no proof. We haven’t been given no papers so we don’t know for sure. After all of the years not paying rent  . . .  somebody now here should have papers already.

“We know elections coming up and everybody trying to get back their seat. Some of the politicians know that their seats are gone, a lot of them, so the announcement is part of the plan to get back in. We know that,” the person said.

A similar accusation was made by BLP candidate for St James South Sandra Husbands, who claimed the DLP was misleading the people by promising them ownership of the housing units.

She contended that there was a clear pattern that dated back to the campaign for the 2008 general election.

“This Government in 2008 had said that they were giving people the houses as an election gimmick, and people were excited. Who would not be? Everybody wants their own property so people bought into the promises and by the next election the properties weren’t transferred,” Husbands said, adding that even if the homes were transferred before the next election, there would still be concerns.

“If they seek to raise a loan using the asset, to back that loan the bank is going to insist that house be insured and they will not be able to have those houses insured unless they are rewired. They are giving people a lemon and no Government should be doing that to their people,”  Husbands contended.

9 Responses to Deacons’ delight

  1. archy perch February 6, 2018 at 2:28 am

    Sandra Husband’s political aspirations will be over in a couple months; what a boring candidate, but with balls.

    Reply
  2. John Everatt February 6, 2018 at 3:49 am

    This would be a coup for government as if they no longer actually own these units then they are not responsible for maintenance of the buildings. It is common knowledge that the wiring and other safety features in these buildings need to be upgraded and government does not want to be stuck with the bill. So why are these tenants rejoicing? They are not paying rent anyway and now they will be stuck with the repair bills. Or do they not understand this?

    Reply
    • andy g February 6, 2018 at 6:50 am

      John, most of these people are smart and were not waiting on NHC to maintain their units.so don’t try to brainwash people who has no idea about these units.Bajans has lots on pride when it comes to their home.

      Reply
  3. Committed Bajan February 6, 2018 at 6:35 am

    When we became too expensive to maintain
    We were given Independence from the British
    These units are no different, too expensive to maintain
    Give them away

    Now the problem is that of the homeowners
    Just as taking care of ourselves is now the problem of the Barbados government and not the British

    Fixing these houses is now the problem of the homeowners and not the Barbados government

    Reply
  4. Cecil Brooks February 6, 2018 at 7:25 am

    it is a good thing to own your house. However owning a house in such uncertainty having been promised ownership before without the details. What has changed? A few people again telling the majority what they are going to do, in the meantime the majority having being kept in the dark for ten years, will again fall for this nonsense. Barbadians wake up, would you accept this from a realtor or lawyer, coming to you saying you had met all the criteria to own a house and then after ten years not telling you any thing about your house but comes again with the same tale giving a promise. Have we become so desperate, when are we going to take back our country from a few people under a party banner.

    Reply
  5. Angela February 6, 2018 at 9:30 am

    Question_ When you own your house who is responsible for repairing. When you buy an old house who repairs it, the last owner?

    Reply
  6. Ossie Moore February 6, 2018 at 1:42 pm

    Lawd mek peace! Bajans out hey so in de Up North ain’t even got a space fuh a cot! Dat like “win Fall time in de old days murdddda!!

    Reply
  7. F.A.Rudder February 6, 2018 at 1:44 pm

    Houses are bought under evaluation!

    Reply
  8. Greengiant February 6, 2018 at 1:56 pm

    Sandra Husbands saying this practice dates back to 2008? Husbands election gimmicks dates back to decades in Barbados, both parties have used all sorts of bait and red herrings for votes. So put up something unknown or just shut up you lot. Tired of you lot who have nothing to offer making empty noises.

    Reply

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