Prime Minister Mia Amor Mottley in discussion with Housing Minister, Dr. William Duguid at the launch of the Atlantic Breeze Lifestyle Development, at Chancery Lane, Christ Church yesterday. Looking on (l-r) are: Minister in the Ministry of Finance, Ryan Straughn; Minister of Home Affairs, Wilfred Abrahams; and Managing Director, Preconco Ltd. Mark Maloney. (C. Pitt/BGIS)

Government will be hosting a public-private consultation on derelict houses to ascertain how best to bring them back into productive use.

Prime Minister Mia Amor Mottley made this disclosure last evening as she delivered remarks at the launch of the Atlantic Breeze Lifestyle Development, at Chancery Lane, Christ Church.

Ms. Mottley told the audience there were too many derelict houses across Barbados. “My Government intends to have a public-private consultation to see how best we can bring these derelict houses, predominantly in urban Barbados, but some in suburban and rural back into productive use, recognising that in many instances, it is conflict within families that has prevented those houses from being repaired and pressed into productive use….

“We know the stories well.  But what it means is that the house goes from good to not so good, to really looking pop down, to derelict and by the time it reaches derelict, it is housing rodents, mosquitoes and criminal activity…. I really believe…we will have to find legal ways to match individual families with those who have capital, or those who have expertise in order to bring back many of these houses into productive enterprise,” she proffered.

Underscoring the importance of providing housing to citizens, the Prime Minister said she looked forward to being a part of the launch of more new housing initiatives over the next few months.  

She informed those present that she had told the Minister of Housing to “press full steam ahead” because Government must meet the needs of different types of Barbadians who require housing. 

“We are conscious that much of the public housing that has been built is…densely populated and therefore there is going to be the need for the dilution of that density…in different public housing areas across the country. And it is to that category of person that I say, … do not believe because we have launched two projects that we have forgotten you, for we have not.

“I look forward next week to take a presentation from the Ministry of Housing that focuses exclusively on that low income housing, recognising that if we want to keep the prices down, …to make housing affordable and accessible to each and every Barbadian according to their circumstances, then it means some out of box thinking, which we will have to discuss,” she stated.

Ms. Mottley said though, that as far as possible, Government wanted to keep people in existing communities because relationships in those societies mattered. She added that the Ministry of Housing and Town and Country Development Planning Office would work very closely in this regard.

She stressed that Government was committed to what could be regarded as “a silent revolution in housing” in Barbados.  She noted that the HOPE Premium project would create jobs and give Barbadians an opportunity to earn money to sustain their families in these difficult times.

The 267 two and three-bedroom housing development, to be built on 35 acres of land, is a HOPE Premium Project, which targets persons earning between $4,000 and $8,000 monthly.  

There are six home designs – Sunrise 975 square feet; Serenity 982 square feet; Pearl 986 square feet; Cove 1187 square feet; Seafoam 1187 square feet; and Searock 1225 square feet. It is an initiative of the National Housing Corporation and Preconco Limited.

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