More and more Barbadians are turning to the Urban Development Commission (UDC) for assistance to get a roof over their heads.
Unable to quantify the increase in applications, Housing Coordinator Colvin Mascoll said the UDC was finding it difficult to meet the rising demand because of inadequate funding but was doing the best it could to assist persons in need.
“In these tight financial times when more people are feeling the pinch, the request for assistance from the commission has really increased,” Mascoll told Barbados TODAY. “I cannot put a figure on it but we can feel it.”
The numbers include both males and females of varying ages.
“We have to prioritize and serve who we consider the most needy,” Mascoll explained. “The biggest challenge we have is getting the funds available to us to reach as many people as possible.”
He added: “We have never been able to meet all the requests because, let’s face it, we have a lot of people who really are in need in Barbados. We try our best to meet the needs but we just wish we were in a position to do more”.
He acknowledged that the Government was experiencing financial difficulties, forcing UDC to stretch what limited resources it had. “We are in difficult times. It is not [like] 15 years ago. There are a lot of things that we would like to do but we are not in a position to do.”
Mascoll added: “We hope we will be able to do more in the not-too-distant future. In the meantime, we have to make do with what we have and spend the resources available to us as wisely as possible.
“We may be able to supply, in some cases, materials and we then find out from the clients if they can provide some labour. In that way, we can get our dollars to stretch that much further.”