DLP’s Housing Programme a Breach of Promise
The “star housing programme” on the basis of which DLP Parliamentarians are asking Voters to re-elect their Party has not been anywhere nearly as successful as they are promoting it to be. Mr. Edmund Hinkson, the BLP’s St. James North Candidate, in a recent address to his Party’s Women’s League, revealed that a document prepared by the National Housing Corporation indicates that the DLP Government has only completed 374 housing solutions in its first fifty six months of office.
“This works out to be an average of eighty houses per year compared to the promise made in their 2008 Manifesto to build 2,000 housing solutions per year during this term of office. In fact, the Government has not provided a single housing solution through the NHC, in its principal housing agency, in six parishes namely St. James, St. Lucy, St. Joseph, St. Thomas, St. John or St. Andrew” Hinkson pronounced.
This is the present situation, even although this Government is in a position to draw down on a US $30 million international loan which was negotiated by the previous Owen Arthur administration.
Many housing projects, such as those at Constant, Lancaster, West Terrace, Durants and Parish Land in St. Philip, which were due to be completed last year, have not yet provided solutions for any of the thousands of Barbadians who want to either buy or rent houses.
The former NHC Deputy Chairman also stated that the DLP Government had so far failed to provide any of the 500 lots of land at $5.00 per square foot for first time home-owners, another promise which it had pledged to carry out within its first five months of office. These lots were said in its Manifesto to have been already identified.
Hinkson opined that this Government’s housing programme must also receive a failing grade, just as the majority of its other policies, particularly when it is also considered that there has been a significant curtailment in the transfer of urban tenancies programme instituted by the last BLP administration. Furthermore, only a few NHC tenants, including those in Deacons Farm, Fernihurst and the Pine, have been the beneficiary of the DLP Government’s stated policy to transfer their units free of cost to them where they have been renting them for over twenty years.
Furthermore, the BLP St. James North candidate stated the Government has failed, as promised, to establish any Home Ownership Revolving Fund to provide interest free loans to first time homeowners in the public sector with five or more years’ service or to increase the annual allowable tax deduction for mortgages to $20,000.00.