More than 200 tenants at Haynesville, St James are not paying rent to the National Housing Corporation (NHC).
However, Member of Parliament for St James South Donville Inniss, in whose constituency the Government housing area is located, said the non-payment was not a problem because these were tenants who had benefited from Government’s housing policy of transferring title to tenants who have lived in units for more than 20 years and whose rents were fully paid up.
Speaking in the House of Assembly today during debate on the Crown Lands (Vesting and Disposal) Act, Inniss suggested that much of the criticism he faced about housing problems at Haynesville, were being fuelled by the Opposition Barbados Labour Party.
However, he told the Lower House that 242 of the 323 NHC tenants at Haynesville paid no rent because they were in the process of getting legal title for their units.
He explained there were delays in the process because the Chief Town Planner had identified issues that had to be addressed before transfer, including illegal extensions and encroachments.
“There have been some fires in three units in my constituency over the last two years. There was one [fire] two months ago . . . and the Barbados Labour Party entourage turned up with more camera equipment than CBC because all they are interested in is taking videos and posting on social media about people’s private matters.
“[But] that is not the way. You must show empathy and concern,” he told the chamber.
According to Inniss, despite the criticism, repairs were being undertaken to several units in the northern housing area.