The National Housing Corporation (NHC) should be more concerned with assisting low income earners in getting their own homes than with making money, said Opposition Leader Joseph Atherley, who has urged the state housing provider to get its priorities in order.
Speaking today in Parliament during debate on a resolution for the vesting of land in Cluffs, St Lucy, Atherley said the NHC needed to look after Barbadians in need of housing.
“The NHC is not altogether too sure these days as to what its priority focus and mission ought to be. The question has to be asked for serious reflection at this time as to whether or not the priority for the NHC is property ownership, especially for the disadvantage class in Barbados, or is it a question of revenue generation?” he queried.
“If it is question of revenue generation, then there is a bias against the impetus to provide for low income housing in Barbados. One wonders if because it is a misplaced priority, the evident outflow from that is which we see, that low cost housing for low income groups in Barbados is not a reality.
“What is said to be low income these days is beyond the financial capacity of the most disadvantaged class in Barbados,” Atherley insisted.
The Opposition Leader maintained that the NHC would be more efficient if it not only focused on helping those in need, but by giving them land instead of housing.
“My view, and strongly so, is that the NHC ought to be facilitating property ownership for low income groups in Barbados.
“The second thing I would suggest is that the NHC, once it gets its mission focus clearly understood and in view, priority perhaps should be given to providing land rather than housing,” Atherley said.
“Historically the evidence exists in abundance in Barbados that we are an industrious people…and if you give people the opportunity to own their land they will find legitimate and industrious ways of building upon that land and coming more fully into property ownership.”