Basseterre, St. Kitts, February 17, 2017 (SKNIS): The Unity Housing Solution Programme launch “is a step in the right direction in meeting the basic needs for the decency and dignity of our people,” said Prime Minister, Dr. the Honourable Timothy Harris.
Speaking at the event, held on February 17, the prime minister said that he was happy to report that once again the Government of National Unity, in fulfilment of its commitments expressed in its manifesto, is again delivering on another promise.
“We are proud to report that once again we can add this formal unveiling and launch of our housing solutions to the ‘Promise Kept’ category -promise made, promise delivered to the people,” he said.
The prime minister said that the government is also pleased to report that the official launch is the first of some three tiers in the construction of 300 new and improved homes.
“These 300 homes fall within the scope of the National Housing Corporation (NHC),” he said. “However, our housing initiatives do not end there. The Team Unity Government will continue to establish public and private partnerships to broaden and expand the scope of home ownership for our people. We aim over the next ten years to provide the greatest number of housing solutions ever provided by any administration in living memory. In other words, we aim to be better than the best before us.”
Prime Minister Harris said that the government does not believe that “one size fits all.”
“Therefore, we will offer an array of housing solutions that meets the needs for the decency and dignity of our people,” he said. “In this respect, we will provide support to improve the quality of life of the most needy. We will provide support for the delivery of pipe borne water to all homes in St. Kitts and Nevis and we will work to eradicate the unhealthy pit latrines. We will prevent the development of slums in our urban and rural areas and the disorderly and illegal constructions of homes. That has to come to an end.”
The prime minister said that the government will provide assistance for repairs and renovations for the low income households and that the NHC under the HELP programme has already provided support to 192 families.
The government will also support an enhanced public education drive by the NHC, said the prime minister. He added that the Development Control and Physical Planning Board and the Ministry of Housing, taking into consideration the risks and dangers of squatting and building without approved plans, has decided there will be a new order of things.
“We can’t have everybody doing as he or she likes,” said the prime minister. “We can’t have persons seeing a piece of land and determine that they build there and then when you are ready to do a proper project the roads zigzagging because everything is out of order. You can’t even start on some of the projects because where animals are not to be, animals are. Where people are not to engage in farming, they are. These are some of the challenges, which inhibit the order delivery of the housing programme. We want in the management and development of our own country, that there is order in the way in which we do things. So the public education will be a critical part of this.”
Prime Minister Harris said that the government will offer special housing solutions for first time buyers, which will be announced in the next few weeks.