Government was expected to provide an independence gift Thursday to 35 families as they will take possession of the keys to move into the low income homes at Mt. Gay that was built by China as a gift to the people of Grenada
New Health Minister, Nikolas Steele, made the announcement during Tuesday’s post-Cabinet press briefing held at the Ministerial Complex at the Botanical Gardens in St. George’s.
According to the minister, the first batch of families were chosen based on “the most urgent situations” and that the process was handled by the Ministry of Housing.
“It was a thorough and lengthily process,” said Minister Steele who is the elected Member of Parliament for the Town of St. George.
He disclosed that more than 4000 applications were received for the 350 houses at the three sites – Mt Gay and Frequente in St George’s and Soubise in St Andrew’s.
He acknowledged that “more persons would be turned down than accepted” in light of the limited amount of houses available but noted that more houses would be distributed within the coming weeks at Mt Gay and the other sites following the finalisation of service connections.
“There is also a component of getting the houses connected with the Grenada Electricity Services Ltd (GRENLEC) and the National Water and Sewerage Authority (NAWASA),” Steele said.
“There are also legal documents that must be cleared. So as we have a batch, we don’t want to wait until everyone is finished and delay the process for some people who really need it urgently,” he added.
The second phase of the Chinese Low-income Housing project is expected to come on stream shortly in which homes will be erected for 650 families.
A group of Chinese officials are expected to visit the island at the end of February to begin preliminary works on the housing sites.
Homes will be built in Beausejour and Frequente in St. George’s, Black Bay in St. John’s, Diamond, St. Mark’s, St. Patrick’s and Dumfries in Carriacou.
China agreed to build over 2000 low-cost houses for Grenada as part of a deal brokered in early 2005 by Prime Minister Dr. Keith Mitchell to switch to Beijing and break ties with the Republic of China (ROC) on Taiwan.
The Chinese on the Mainland regards Taiwan as a renegade province and has not ruled out the use of force to bring it back in line.