An Opposition Member of Parliament has given the thumbs up to a Government plan to transfer titles to hundreds of National Housing Corporation (NHC) tenants.
St George North MP Gline Clarke today supported the resolution during debate in the House of Assembly on the Crown Lands (Vesting and Disposal) Act.
Clarke, a former Minister of Housing in the previous Owen Arthur-led Barbados Labour Party (BLP) administration, said he backed the measure because it benefited many low-income earners who deserved to become homeowners.
At the same time, Clarke blasted Government’s housing policy which he said had undone a BLP plan to have NHC tenants, who qualified, contribute to the cost of their units.
According to Clarke, the BLP proposal that called on tenants to pay concessionary rates for the units, helped to finance some of the costs associated with transferring title to the former tenants, such as building firewalls, and other actions that needed to take place.
The St George South MP charged that the NHC was now in a worse financial position and questioned whether it was fulfilling the role for which it was created.
In this connection, he called for Government to utilize the more than $200 million in the Housing Guarantee Fund to assist tenants to spruce up their homes.
Clarke said many NHC units needed a facelift and significant repairs which tenants were unable to undertake on their own.
During his presentation, he questioned why homeowners at the NHC’s Constant, St George development were required to pay $100 monthly for sewerage services, while people who were hooked to the Bridgetown Sewerage System were only required to pay just $20 monthly.