Access to cost effective housing solutions, improved wheel chair access in the City, and redeveloping the Fairchild Street Market were among some of the issues brought forward by members of the public at the first Habitat III Community Meeting.

Held at the Queen’s Park Steel Shed, on Tuesday, July 21, the meeting gave persons the opportunity to share their opinion on the future of housing and sustainable urban development in Barbados with a panel of members from the Habitat III Committee.

Corey Jackman, 31 was one person who shared his views on housing. He suggested that whenever a housing project was constructed that it should be in the vicinity of public service areas and amenities.

Jackman said: ???The size of the land is not a big concern for me to select a house because I grew up in St. John. I???m more interested in convenience. Can I easily access a bank, supermarket or gas station is what would attract me. How long do I have to travel to get to work is another thing??? I would have no problem living in a high rise as long as I have easy access to these services.???

Addressing the Meeting, Minister of Housing Denis Kellman mentioned that today???s urban residents now work, think and act in ways that were different from the past.

???Urbanisation has caused the urban environment to change from a small scale agricultural oriented setting to a place of mass production, consumption and service??? As policy makers we must find new and affordable housing solutions to suit these new demands,??? he explained.

The Housing Minister also stated that he was glad so many persons were taking the opportunity to make a meaningful contribution and to share how they felt about the housing sector and how to improve general living conditions in Barbados.

Panelists at the Meeting were Minister of Housing Denis Kellman, Co-Chair of the National Habitat Committee, Mark Cummins; Director of the Urban Development Commission, Derek Alleyne and Representative for the Barbados Youth Development Council, Ms. Gabrielle Bailey.??

The next Habitat III Community Meeting will take place on Sunday, August 9 in the school hall at Queen???s College, Husbands, St. James.??All input from these meetings will go towards the Habitat III proposal, which initially plans the next 20 years in urban and rural development in Barbados.

A team from Barbados will present these plans at Habitat III; a major global summit which will be held in Quito, Ecuador, from October 17-20, 2016.

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