OPPOSITION MEMBER of Parliament Santia Bradshaw is predicting that the National Social Responsibility Levy will stymie the repair arm of the National Housing Corporation (NHC).
The St Michael South East representative raised the concern yesterday during debate in the House of Assembly on a resolution to vest about 5 900 square metres of Crown land at the former site of the District “E” Police Station in St Peter, in the Ministry of Housing and Lands, for housing development.
She told the sitting that the cost of material would go up for the NHC, which already had financial problems.
“This administration has failed not only to upkeep and maintain these properties over the course of the past few years, but now with the introduction of the National Social Responsibility Levy, you have a situation where the Honourable Minister has not even spoken to the fact that you would now have an increase in [the price of] materials, which the National Housing Corporation is now not able to even purchase to repair a number of these units in the various housing areas,” she said.
She pointed to the Pinelands housing area in her St Michael South East constituency as being one of many in dire need of attention.
“The fact that the funds that are transferred from the Treasury to the National Housing Corporation are now being used primarily to pay salaries is of concern because it speaks to the fact that this administration is certainly not going to repair the units. They’re not going to be able to provide any additional housing unless they have contractors who are prepared to bill for exorbitant costs . . . .
“It means that an answer needs to come from this administration and in particular from the Minister of Housing into how these issues are going to be addressed.”
Bradshaw also defended the former Barbados Labour Party regime’s track record on housing, describing as unfair some accusations levelled by members of Government. (WILLCOMM)