Minister of Housing and Lands, Michael Lashley, congratulating Donnah Atherley of Lower Crescent, Gall Hill, Christ Church on receiving her conveyance with MP for the area Stephen Lashley. (A.Miller/BGIS)??

Special legislation that will make allowances for those tenants who have extensions on their houses will be taken before Parliament shortly.

Word of this has come from Housing Minister, Michael Lashley, who said that the major solution to this occurrence would be legislation known as the National Housing Corporation (Transfer of Terrace Units) Bill that would allow those particular units to be conveyed to tenants in spite of their extensions.

Accompanied by housing officials, MP for the area Donville Inniss, and members of the press after handing over conveyances to some residents in the Haynesville, St. James community, Mr. Lashley said that they started the programme in 2010, and despite some challenges along the way they have done reasonably well thus far.

"…I have seen the draft Bill, I have seen the comments from the various agencies and the legal department of the (NHC) has also made some input and I think that Cabinet is generally satisfied in relation to the legislation.?? That legislation would also impact on all the other tenants who would have qualified under the 20-year programme, but because of the extensions there were some challenges and the only way around that to empower Barbadians is to bring that Bill to Parliament and we are on our way," he explained.

Stating that currently the NHC has over 2,000 tenants who qualified and who were not paying rent at the moment, the Housing Minister pointed out that under the Law Property Act in Barbados the only way persons could own property was by conveyance.??

"What this legislation does is show that the tenant received his or her conveyance.?? So, having 2,000 or more persons with conveyances in their hand who live in these terrace units for more than 20 years but do not have the opportunity to go to a bank with a conveyance to use as security is revolutionary.

"Ms. Brown, Ms. Ellis, Ms. Inniss can now go to said bank with a stamped conveyance saying, ???I am the rightful owner of this property and I want a loan to make home improvements, or I want a loan to send my child to study overseas’.?? To me that is a major step and the second step is that the NHC will now be relieved of maintenance and it will give us more breathing space to focus on more projects," the Minister stressed.

He also emphasised that another element that would?? also revolutionise the Barbadian housing sector would be the introduction of land, which "Tom, Dick and Harry" could buy for under $20, 000.

"You cannot go on the private market and buy land for under $20, 000. And the fact that we have land that will go into people’s hands is another revolution …If you look at land prices on the private market you cannot purchase four square feet of land for under $90, 000 or under $50, 000 or even under $40, 000," he noted.

Residents in the Haynesville community who received their conveyances were Hazel Bostic; Diana Sealy; Gaberline Forde; Mona Williams and Norma Blackman, all residents for over 20 years.

The Minister also handed over conveyances to some residents in the Gall Hill, Christ Church area.?? They included Donnah Atherley; Ivan Greenidge; Hazeline Nurse, Elsa Brathwaite and Patricia Burke.??


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