Minister of Social Development, Housing and Community Development, Delma Thomas says that her Ministry is moving quickly to deliver the three-hundred and fifty (350) Chinese built houses to the Grenadian public.
The houses, which were handed over by the Chinese Government last year to the former National Democratic congress (NDC) Administration, could not be handed out to owners because they were not fitted with electricity and sewage amenities. The Sewage System alone costs EC$ 1million.
The Housing Minister says, that they are now seeking to address the issues before delivering the much needed homes, indicating that she has been working to get past the hurdles.
“I met with the former Chinese Ambassador, who gave the assurance that they will see how they can assist”, she said.
The female government minister stated that she will be following up in the next week or two with the new Chinese Ambassador to see what sort of assistance can be obtained.
Minister Thomas is keen to outfit the houses with electricity and sewage amenities in the quickest possible time so that they can be distributed in the next five months.
She announced that the Peoples Republic of China, have assured her that they are going to build a second phase of houses for the people of Grenada, who were affected by the passage of Hurricanes Ivan in 2004, which destroyed a good bit of the island’s housing stock.
However, the Housing Minister insists that her primary concern at this time is the distribution of the 351 homes.
She was quoted in a Government Information Service (GIS) release as saying that the Housing Authority is in the process of establishing a new board, adding that everything as it relates to Housing is on hold.
She said that they are in the process of setting up a new board and employing a Manager.
“We are in the process of getting a General Manager; then we will see what we can do because there are a lot of issues as it relates to the Housing Authority”, she added.
Minister Thomas who is also responsible for Social Development has also been on the move visiting homes for the aged in St David, St George, St Patrick and St Mark to get a first hand view of the situation facing the elderly, children and workers.
The Minister said she has discovered that a lot of people, who were placed in the homes with Public Assistance, have had their support withdrawn .
She said that urgent attention is needed since some are ill with diabetes, high blood pressure and other ailment.
“I am not advocating giving everyone public assistance right across the board. I believe we have to do it on a case to case basis; so that those who need it get. I believe Government has the right to provide them with medication”, she remarked.
The senior government minister is hoping to visit the other homes in the coming week, in an attempt to enhance their operations.