Christmas has come early for two St Lucy families who were living in unfavourable conditions up to two months ago, but today received keys to two brand new homes.
Minister of Social Care Steve Blackett handed over the keys to sisters Erma and Sandra Hinds for the houses which were built on the same plot of land at Broomfield, under the Ministry’s Identification, Stabilization, Enablement and Empowerment (I.S.E.E) Bridge Programme, being spearheaded by the National Assistance Board.
Sandra said she was overjoyed with her new three bedroom wooden residence valued at BDS$69 500 which she will be sharing with her three children, two grandchildren, father and boyfriend.
She said the rotted house they lived in before was falling to pieces, exposed them to the elements and rodents and insects were always nearby.
“The side was breaking down and going in. This is much better and I feel good because we will live more comfortably. I am thankful,” Sandra said.
Erma was not present to collect the keys to her two bedroom wooden home valued at $64 200. However, her son, Jason Hinds, said he was happy for his mother because the original house, which was in a very bad state, has been replaced.
“She feeling a lot better than before to know that the conditions will be better for her,” Jason said.
Blackett said he was delighted to make the presentations to the families under the I.S.E.E programme which was adapted by Government from Chile where families living in poverty were selected from each constituency.
He said the handing over of the houses represented the last phase of the pilot programme, disclosing that his Ministry was about to embark on fully rolling out the programme.
“We will again identify 30 other families, one again in each constituency,” he said.
Blackett said that in the first quarter of next year, his Ministry, along with the Ministry of Labour, in conjunction with the Inter-American Development Bank, will be expanding the programme from 30 families to 250 families.
“This particular intervention will bring the Hinds family to a level of existence that I believe they would not have envisioned in a lifetime,” Blackett said. (AH)