Dorothy Henry welcomes??hampers from??Minister of Housing, Lands, Urban and Rural Development, Michael Lashley and Minister of State in the Ministry, Patrick Todd.

Seventy-three year old Dorothy Henry now has a new place to call home, thanks to the Ministry of Housing, Lands, Urban and Rural Development.

Following a tour last Friday by Minister Michael Lashley, who now has responsibility for Urban and Rural Development, Ms. Henry was, on Saturday, moved from her make-shift home in Cats Castle the City, to a spanking one-bedroom home in Cave Hill, St. Michael.

"We were appalled at the conditions that the old lady was living under.?? The house was dilapidated, in fact, it was not even a house.?? It was basically a rat-infested shed, very bad conditions, no running water, no toilet and no electricity.?? It was basically a make-shift shed.?? It touched me as Minister and other officials on the tour, so I instructed Urban Development Commission [UDC] to secure a vacant house for her as soon as possible and they gave me the assurance that they would house her by Saturday morning," Mr. Lashley said.

Ms. Henry was helped with her move by the Housing Minister, Minister of State in the Ministry, Patrick Todd, and officials of the UDC. Mr. Lashley added that she was also provided with some basic items to ensure that she could "rest comfortably" in her new home.??

"We all saw the conditions she was living in and she would have made some direct or indirect contribution to the development of Barbados and we believe that we have a duty to ensure that that lady was removed from those conditions," Minister Lashley emphasised.

As a result, he also called on persons who own vacant houses to come forward to help house needy persons.?? "There are a number of vacant houses built by UDC and RDC, on lands not owned by the Government.?? The problem is, that after occupants die, some of the land owners ask back for the home.?? The UDC nor the RDC cannot be seen as a state that infringes on people’s rights, so they have a right to repossess their property.?? ??

"I think now we need to come to a reasonable position where the land owner can meet with the Government, they can either lease us the property, or we can come into some arrangement where that house will still be available and add to the housing stock of Barbados … In fact, some are paying rent for houses that don’t even have any floors. Some are not fit for human habitation.?? So once we can get those private land owners to come meet with us, I would look to that very shortly," he assured.?? lbayley@barbados.gov.bb

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