A philanthropic drive to improve the deplorable living conditions of Katura Luke at Diamond Valley, St. Philip continued on Thursday despite objections from owners of the property.
Just before midday, Jordan English and his team along with Managing Director of Jose Y Jose Liquid and Solid Waste Management Anderson Cherry completed cleaning out the wood and wall structure which was broadcast on social media.
Images captured at least one man power washing the interior of the structure, which days ago was extremely dirty and filled with garbage.
Hours before, Mervyn Jones, who is the property owner’s nephew and holds power of attorney revealed that the lot is currently up for sale and no permission had been given for the renovations.
The developments are under close observation from the Ministry of People Empowerment and Elder Affairs as well as the Ministry of Housing and Lands.
English, who is determined to assist the family, said he was not taking the reports seriously.
“We are aware of the stories that came today. We are not really taking it seriously to be honest, because we set out to complete a mission which is to put them children in a better living condition by any means,” the 23-year-old declared on national radio.
Meanwhile, Cherry, who also spoke to Starcom Network revealed that he would attempt to engage the land owner in hopes of resolving the matter.
“If the lady didn’t pay rent for six years, at least the house will be repaired and returned to the owner in a good condition. That would be our contribution to the owner. As we complete the renovations to the house within the next five days, we ask people to donate,” said the well known businessman.
“We need a fridge, stove, four single beds, a table, some plates, a microwave and all of these furniture would be moved to the new house, if there is one. When the house is renovated, the people will be moved into the new house if there is one,” he added.
The plight of Katura, who was living in the dilapidated house with her four daughters ages three, a nine-year-old twin and a 17-year-old, was brought to national attention on Monday, when English broadcasted her plight and pleaded with local authorities and the public sector for assistance.
On Wednesday, the representative of the landowner declared that no work had been sanctioned on the property which has housed Luke for over six years without rent being paid.
The Rural Development Commission (RDC) had been paying rent on Luke’s behalf, but stopped sometime in 2014.
Jones said that in 2013, the house had been repaired and another estimate for improvements to the tune of $7,600 had been prepared. However, with no rent being paid, repairs were simply not feasible.
“It is laudable what the gentleman is trying to do. But when [Jordan English] went to the house and saw the for sale sign he should have asked some questions,” he added.