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Premier plans election year catch-up on the vulnerable people housing needs

by B. Roach

Lookout houses

Lookout houses

A reaction to the Honourable Premier Reuben Meade’s utterances on housing on the morning of January 15, 2014, notes as follows: “Guess the Premier forgot that the 2011 census revealed that there were over 80 houses without indoor water supply or WC facilities as reflected in DFID’s February last year’s ‘Montserrat Budget Aide Memoire’.

“He also forgot that the Minister of Housing said last year in response to a question from the Leader of the Opposition that none of government’s houses were in a dilapidated state. Besides, he has continually ridiculed the Honourable Romeo each time he raises the subject or any related matter.”

Paragraph 16 of the February 2013, DFID Aide Memoire document, states. “The closure of the shelters for vulnerable people is very welcome though DFID noted social welfare concerns about the care of residents that will be pursued separately with MoHSS (Ministry of Health and Social Services). DFID will also seek clarity on decanting the “temporary wooden family units” that house around 69 families; as well as the 80 plus homes that have no indoor water supply or WC facilities.   In addition, DFID is concerned about the maintenance of the housing stock especially properties funded by DFID, and will consider undertaking a condition survey during 2013/14.   DFID is pleased to note the Premier’s commitment to ensure that the Housing Bill, outstanding since 2009, will be enacted this year.”

Davy Hill houses

Davy Hill houses

The Premier speaking on ZJB Radio said he had just seen a report on the poor living conditions particularly of the elderly. He said he is seeking funding to correct the situation.

“Just had a report coming in and coming to my desk where there are quite a number of persons, principally elderly folks, who are living in conditions where they have no toilets, no indoor toilets and no bathrooms,“ he said.

He suggested difficulty in obtaining funds and permission to install the toilets, while the question remains as to how and when the much larger number of families who need the facilities, will be served .  “We are looking at getting some funds from one of our friendly agencies where we can at least start targeting maybe 15 or 20 of those principally vulnerable persons, where this year, we are saying, provided we can get permission to use the lands on which they are, to be able to provide for them that toilet and bathroom facility.

He added: “We have only now been able to target those funds and we will actually start doing that work very, very early this year.”

He concluded, “We can’t have that as well and we have to also try to see if we can get some EU funds targeted in that particular area.  We still have persons living in places like Davy Hill, in wooden houses on government property, “referring to what he described as “despicable conditions.”

The reaction to the issue as he raised it, questioned also that funds had been provided long ago to meet those challenges, when DFID provided funding the housing program some years ago. “How could he (the Premier) be seeking funds when these funds were provided long ago, and DFID providing further funds to both maintain and fix the problems after pointing them out since February last year?” the question posed to TMR.

Pics of Davy Hill and Lookout

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by B. Roach

Lookout houses

Lookout houses

A reaction to the Honourable Premier Reuben Meade’s utterances on housing on the morning of January 15, 2014, notes as follows: “Guess the Premier forgot that the 2011 census revealed that there were over 80 houses without indoor water supply or WC facilities as reflected in DFID’s February last year’s ‘Montserrat Budget Aide Memoire’.

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“He also forgot that the Minister of Housing said last year in response to a question from the Leader of the Opposition that none of government’s houses were in a dilapidated state. Besides, he has continually ridiculed the Honourable Romeo each time he raises the subject or any related matter.”

Paragraph 16 of the February 2013, DFID Aide Memoire document, states. “The closure of the shelters for vulnerable people is very welcome though DFID noted social welfare concerns about the care of residents that will be pursued separately with MoHSS (Ministry of Health and Social Services). DFID will also seek clarity on decanting the “temporary wooden family units” that house around 69 families; as well as the 80 plus homes that have no indoor water supply or WC facilities.   In addition, DFID is concerned about the maintenance of the housing stock especially properties funded by DFID, and will consider undertaking a condition survey during 2013/14.   DFID is pleased to note the Premier’s commitment to ensure that the Housing Bill, outstanding since 2009, will be enacted this year.”

Davy Hill houses

Davy Hill houses

The Premier speaking on ZJB Radio said he had just seen a report on the poor living conditions particularly of the elderly. He said he is seeking funding to correct the situation.

“Just had a report coming in and coming to my desk where there are quite a number of persons, principally elderly folks, who are living in conditions where they have no toilets, no indoor toilets and no bathrooms,“ he said.

He suggested difficulty in obtaining funds and permission to install the toilets, while the question remains as to how and when the much larger number of families who need the facilities, will be served .  “We are looking at getting some funds from one of our friendly agencies where we can at least start targeting maybe 15 or 20 of those principally vulnerable persons, where this year, we are saying, provided we can get permission to use the lands on which they are, to be able to provide for them that toilet and bathroom facility.

He added: “We have only now been able to target those funds and we will actually start doing that work very, very early this year.”

He concluded, “We can’t have that as well and we have to also try to see if we can get some EU funds targeted in that particular area.  We still have persons living in places like Davy Hill, in wooden houses on government property, “referring to what he described as “despicable conditions.”

The reaction to the issue as he raised it, questioned also that funds had been provided long ago to meet those challenges, when DFID provided funding the housing program some years ago. “How could he (the Premier) be seeking funds when these funds were provided long ago, and DFID providing further funds to both maintain and fix the problems after pointing them out since February last year?” the question posed to TMR.

Pics of Davy Hill and Lookout