|Prime Minister Freundel Stuart (front centre blue shirt),??is given a tour of the Valerie High-Rise Project site by Mark Maloney (far right), Managing Director of Preconco Ltd.?? Also pictured, (far left) Lanette Napoleon-Young, General Manager of the NHC; (centre behind) Michael Lashley, Minister of Housing and Lands and (right-centre) Richard Sealy, Minister of Tourism; at the??official??launch of the??housing project on Saturday, Collymore Rock, St. Michael. (A.Miller/BGIS)??
Government has stepped up to the plate to ensure that providing adequate housing for Barbadians is tackled holistically and not done in a "piecemeal" fashion that required relocation to unfamiliar districts.
Prime Minister Freundel Stuart made this observation last Saturday while addressing the official launch of the Valerie high-rise housing project in Collymore Rock, St. Michael.
He added that home ownership was an important part of the island’s identity and, as such, "government decided to intervene decisively to ensure that every Barbadian gets an opportunity and a fair chance of owning a piece of this island of ours".
In light of this, Mr. Stuart said government had worked assiduously to deliver on its promise to housing every last person, particularly the most economically vulnerable members of society, despite the prolonged economic downturn.
"The poorer sections of this society have had a long and anguished history of deprivation.?? No truly representative and responsible government, therefore, could decide to throw this cohort in the society to the wolves by wantonly dismantling the safety net so carefully woven together since our Independence 45 years ago," he noted.
The Prime Minister described the ??six-storey Valerie High-Rise Housing Project as "part of the blitz" on poor quality housing within the greater Bridgetown boundary that runs from Holder’s Hill, St. James, along the ABC Highway up to Wotton in Christ Church.
Mr. Stuart disclosed that the Valerie project would soon be supplemented by 84 similar units at Mason Hall Street; 108 at Exmouth, Deacons Road and 84 at the Grotto, Beckles Road, all in St. Michael.
Additionally, the Prime Minister also praised the joint partnership between the National Housing Corporation and the private sector, especially as it related to the giving support to ailing industries and supporting jobs during the economic crisis.
"It is appropriate, therefore, that I commend those private sector partners who have shown enthusiasm for collaborating with the government in the financing of projects of this kind.?? We look forward to a continuing and fruitful relationship in this effort," Mr. Stuart underlined.
Apart from providing housing solutions for Barbadians, he added that the project also "put the spotlight on the social life of Bridgetown and surrounding districts".