Labour-built homes to be given out secretly, will low-income families get?

BASSETERRE, ST. KITTS – Two months after a planned ceremony by the Timothy Harris led PLP/CCM/PAM government to handover close to 100 housing units which were under construction by the St. Kitts-Nevis Labour Party Administration when it left office in February 2015, the homes remained closed up and unoccupied.

Labour Party Chairperson and Parliamentary Representative for Central Basseterre Hon. Marcella Liburd in updating the nation on the issue, said Wednesday the ceremonies have been abandoned and the homes are to be distributed secretly.

Homes were built in several areas including Pine Gardens, Ottley’s, Stonefort, Buckley’s and Taylors.

She noted that several officers including the CEO, Ms. Judith Rawlins were dismissed by the new government after it took office and accused the Minister of Housing, Hon. Eugene Hamilton, officials in his Ministry and at the National Housing Corporation of incompetence.

Not even the handing over ceremony could be organised. Date set for the first ceremony at Pine Gardens was announced, invitations sent out, snacks prepared and the day before as a result of chaos, the ceremony was cancelled and no official explanation given to the public,” said Liburd, who noted that all the procedures including previous interviews and due diligence done by the former NHC Board were abandoned by the new Board of Directors and new management.

It is reported that the interviews are personally done by the politically-appointed new NHC Board Chairman, Valentine Lindsay, who is also the Campaign Manager for Eugene Hamilton and the current Chairman of the Peoples Action Movement (PAM). Lindsay was also a major activist in the Basseterre High School (BHS) saga and was mostly present by the PAM-Team Unity-St. Kitts Teachers Union demonstration.

It is said the homes were allocated to party supporters by ministers, candidates, party officials and persons in management with homes having three, four and up to five potential owners.

“Because of the incompetence of the Minister Eugene Hamilton and as a result of the breeches, you had much chaos and confusion and you had several homes assigned to two or three different families. There was so much confusion that they could not hold the ceremonies to distribute the homes,” said MP Liburd, who disclosed that recent information is that the houses are been given out secretly.

“Could you imagine that? They are hiding from their own people. It is like I told someone, it is like pregnancy. You may not know in the very beginning, but soon everybody will know because people will have to move into those homes and hen the confusion will begin,” said Ms. Liburd, who accused Minister Hamilton and the government of lack of transparency and good governance.

In an effort to avoid giving low-income families the new homes, the Harris-led government is telling potential homeowners to go to the commercial banks.

“We understand they have to deposit EC$3,360 while the monthly charge is EC$820 and they are asking people to go to the bank. That is why this Labour Party in government is a caring government because we took cognisant of the fact that some persons cannot go to the bank and that is why the NHC was set up to help those persons. Now you have to go to the bank,” s

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