Housing Minister Randall Mitchell must identify a single house built under his stewardship over the past two years and provide specifics of the planned construction of 8,000 homes over the next three years.
Mr. Mitchell has engaged in public grandstanding – complete with hard hat and boots – while insisting that he will construct 8,000 units over the next 36 months despite his miserable record of non-performance.
The Minister’s circus was doubtlessly aimed at capturing media attention after two years of wretched failure and obscurity, even in a Government of hopeless underperformers.
Mr. Mitchell must provide precise details of his construction plan since there is no indication of any preparatory work. Previous incomplete housing projects have been abandoned and left to decay.
The housing sector has collapsed, with heavy equipment worth billions of dollars rusting and idle and thousands of skilled industry workers unemployed.
The Minister’s chronic failure contrasts with that of the People’s Partnership Administration, which delivered more than 10,000 homes, built communities, regularised squatters, expanded the rent-to-own programme and introduced public-private partnership construction projects.
The innovative Land for the Landless programme provided subsidised lots to low- and middle-income families.
In opposition, the PNM had ridiculed the delivery of 100 homes to families each week, but Mr. Mitchell has not been able to hand over the keys for a single house constructed by his Government.
Mr. Mitchell’s promise of 8,000 homes in three years is as vacuous as his own performance as Minister of Housing.
If the Minister can identify any achievement since his appointment, I will also believe there is no corruption in the lease of the vessel Ocean Flower 2.
The Minister must be reminded that under the Partnership administration , on the direction of Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar we did special distribution ceremonies to provide housing units to the differently abled, the fire officers, the public Servants and those persons who have been waiting for 15 to 40 years for a housing unit in an emotionally charged program called “it’s been a long time coming”.
In fact the boast of the current minister to distribute 700 units to year end is just to distract from the collapse of the housing sector . our government distributed 700 houses in 7 weeks
DR. ROODAL MOONILAL,
MEMBER OF PARLIAMENT FOR OROPOUCHE EAST
& FORMER MINISTER OF HOUSING AND URBAN DEVELOPMENT