Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit has announced what he described as a ‘massive housing intervention’ for the southeastern section of the island.
Communities to benefit include the Kalinago Territory, Castle Bruce, Grand Fond, Morne Jaune, Riviere Cyrique, Delice and La Plaine.
According to Skerrit about 400 apartment units will be built “in the first instance.”
“These were the communities that were hardest hit and we have decided to bring sharp focus to the housing challenges of the people there,” he said on state-owned DBS Radio on Wednesday.
He stated that the government has been able to identify both public and private lands in the communities for the construction of the apartments and the firm that will be building them will be finalizing contracts ‘in the next week or so.’
“We will be having a meeting with the Kalinago Council, along with the Kalinago Chief tomorrow (Thursday, March 15) to seek to get their Okay and no objections to the available land in the Kalinago Territory, as you know because of the land situation there,” Skerrit said.
He remarked that finding land in Morne Jaune/Riviere Cyrique had been difficult but small lots were found in Riviere Cyrique where some apartments will be constructed. He said the search continues for more lots.
The Prime Minister stated that the ground floor of the apartment building will also double as hurricane shelters.
“We will have an entire ground floor with the appropriate kitchen and washroom and the other amenities,” he stated. “In the event that residents have to find safety, they could certainly use those hurricane shelters that would take into consideration all of the elements of building back better and building back with greater resilience.”
Skerrit also gave an update on 1,000 homes to be built by the Barbadian company, Preconco Limited saying the Ministry of Housing will be in a position as early as next week to inform the nation on which communities will benefit.
“For example, with Coulibistrie, we are looking to relocate a number of homes and I believe we have set quite a number of homes for the residents of Coulibstrie,” he stated. “We have identified two possible sites, one owned by the National Bank and one owned by a private individual and we are hoping to finalize one of these two sites in a matter of few days.”