Minister of Social Care, Christopher Sinckler (left) and??Member of Parliament for the City of Bridgetown, Patrick Todd,??admire a home??constructed by the Urban Development Commission at Danesbury, Black Rock. (Image: Jeffrey Bishop/Barbados Advocate)

The work that the Urban Development Commission (UDC) is currently doing in repairing and constructing houses for low-income Barbadians has been termed "a new beginning".

Minister with responsibility for Urban Development, Christopher Sinckler, made this observation today during a tour of seven areas in St. Michael, where there are homes constructed or repaired by the UDC.??

He said the work, which was carried out by contractors, "showcased the finished product that the Commission was trying to aspire to; and based on what we have seen today, it is reaching that quality quickly".??

He pointed out that this quality of work was being achieved because there had been a review of all of the systems at the UDC and operational procedures had been put in place "to ensure that we chose the right people who are qualified and competent to construct houses … and to bring clarity to how the process was being executed".??

"We also sought to ensure that we had compliance work done; with officers visiting sites regularly to ensure that the scope of work identified for the property, and the drawings and regulations and stipulations from Town Planning and other relevant government agencies were followed correctly. We believe that what we have seen here today is a fine example of what can happen when people put their minds together to achieve good," Minister Sinckler remarked.

He also congratulated the team at the UDC and contractors for "a job well done" and said that it was his hope that the Commission would continue to produce the highest quality of work, even as it sought "new and efficient ways to produce quality housing for the marginalised and less fortunate in Barbados".??

Minister Sinckler urged prospective contractors to visit the properties being constructed to see the work that was being expected of them, and he advised: "If you can’t reach that standard because of certain capacity, we will help you to get there, but we are not going to excuse you from the responsibility of reaching that standard."

He also assured Barbadians that "the days of bad work … of the Commission having to revisit projects two and three times with different contractors; or work that was not completed properly; the days of constructing houses without Town Planning permission; moving people’s landmarks; building roads across people’s property; all of that has now come to a happy end. We are not going to return to that." ????

Seven houses were visited today. Six of them were newly constructed, while the remaining one had major repairs done.??

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