Basseterre, St. Kitts – Nevis
January 24, 2008
The first home of an expansion project for the NEMA starter homes has been completed in record time: Four weeks to be exact.
Originally built to alleviate problems faced by super low income families whose homes were destroyed during the passage of Hurricane Georges in 1998, the homes were deemed a temporary solution to those in need of such assistance.
According to officials at a gathering to mark the occasion, it was never intended to be a longterm solution, as many of the owners had growing families.
Minister of Housing Hon. Cedric Liburd affectionately known as the “Action Minister” said his ministry would continue to ensure that the housing needs of the people of the Federation were met, regardless of their income bracket, maintaining Government’s positive track record.
The NEMA Housing Improvement Project began in December 2007. The first house to be completed is located in Newton Ground; while another five are undergoing expansion construction throughout the country.
The homes which originally contained a bathroom, bedroom and kitchenette will now be expanded to include a full kitchen, dining room and living room.
Prime Minister Hon. Dr. Denzil Douglas thanked the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela for its assistance in funding the expansion programme adding that programmes such as these were at the heart of his government’s policies.
He emphasized the longevity of the programme, stating that it would continue as long as people continue to have needs in this regard. He added that homes for former sugar workers who do not own a home were also a priority for his government.
The Prime Minister who is the constitutionally elected representative for the Newton Ground area said after Hurricane Georges persons whose houses were destroyed were given homes and those who lived in shacks and very poor conditions had their homes replaced with proper homes.
Under the Housing Recovery Programme that was implemented following Hurricane Georges; 458 homes were constructed of which 302 were given free of cost and another 146 sold. Some 223 owners of these homes have applied for their homes to be expanded as part of the NEMA Housing Improvement Project.