BASSETERRE, ST. KITTS – Low-income families and single mothers given a one year moratorium by the former St. Kitts-Nevis Labour Party Administration of then Prime Minister the Right Hon. Dr. Denzil L. Douglas, under a housing assistance programme are now been asked to pay EC$600 in legal fees by the Team Unity Government.
Chairperson of the St. Kitts-Nevis Labour Party and former Minister of Community and Social Development in the previous Labour Administration, Hon. Marcella Liburd also said the new NHC Board is also demanding that NHC land already paid for cannot be resold to another person but to NHC at the price it was bought.
She said on Freedom FM “Issues” programme that the St. Kitts-Nevis Labour Government had been waived payment for a year giving homeowners and landowners an opportunity to ‘catch their hand.’
Liburd said the new Board, headed by Valentine Lindsay, Chairman of the People’s Action Movement (PAM) – one of the parties in the coalition and also campaign manager for Minister of Housing and the PAM Parliamentary Representative for St. Christopher 8, Hon Eugene Hamilton, had abandoned the assistance shortly after it was appointed over a year ago and is now trying to bring back the programme and has told the persons they have to pay EC$600 in legal fees under a new arrangement.
“There was no legal fees involved in the HELP programme when Labour was in office. Why legal fees? It appears to be finding work for their lawyer friends to give them some money on the backs of the ordinary people of this country. No legal fees were involved in the HELP programme under Labour, but now all of a sudden, they have to find $600 for legal fees,” said Liburd.
Accusing the Government and the NHC Board of incompetence, Ms Liburd said land already given and paid for is also been repossessed.
“One person came to me and told me that they have received a letter from NHC saying they are taking back the land but they have already paid off for the land several years ago. They do not know what they are doing. Another person indicated they have a monthly salary deduction yet they get a letter from NHC saying they are taking back the land. NHC do not know what they are doing, but they are busy trying to take back people’s land,” said Liburd, who urged persons affected to ensure that their lands are not repossessed and promised legal representation.
She was also critical of the NHC Board for denying persons allocated NHC lands permission to sell the land to a third party demanding that the land be resold to the board at the same price it was bought.
“We, the former government has approved of the land to be sold to third parties because some persons for several reasons want to sell to finance their children’s university education, illness or other legitimate reasons. Now the new NHC Board is saying that the land must be sold to NHC. Imagine you have paid off for the land, how can NHC tell you who to sell the land to. NHC is now saying the land must be sold to NHC and at the price it was bought from them,” disclosed Liburd, the Parliamentary Reprehensive for Central Basseterre.
“This is illegal and I am saying to people not to allow themselves to be abused by the NHC. It is abusive and disrespectful,” she said.