Furniture manufacturers told they will benefit from government housing programme

Furniture manufacturers in Dominica have been given the assurance that a number of them will benefit from the government’s housing programme.

Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit and other Government officials met with the manufacturers at Windsor Park Stadium on Thursday.

“This is a sincere engagement of the furniture manufacturers in the country and I would sincerely urge you to treat it with the same seriousness in which the government is presenting it to you,” the prime minister said.

He said that going forward, the Government has taken a decision to use only locally manufactured kitchen cabinets and closets in all of the homes that are being built in Dominica.

According to the prime minister, his government is also taking that a step further and in respect to school furniture, “we will utilize local artisans, local furniture makers to manufacture furniture for our schools in Dominica.”

Project Manager for Montreal Management Consultants (MMC), Chris Timmins, said at the meeting that 230 new homes will be added to Dominica’s housing stock over the next few weeks.

He said since 2018, MMC had completed over 1000 new homes with more than 150 currently under construction. The additional 230 homes according to Timmins, will all require kitchens and it is anticipated that the first kitchens will have to be fitted on-site in six months’ time.

Timmins said the houses that are being built are designed for the 21st century and are being built to cater for all tastes.

“So when we are picking designs we are picking for modern materials, we are picking designs which will blend in whether you are 25 or 75…” he said.

The MMC manager stressed that all the material must be of good quality.

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16 Comments

  1. Just asking
    August 19, 2020

    Wow genius, only now you involve locals in 1 billion$ worth of house building in Dominica. And then insinuate that they are lucky and do their best …bla bla bla, so condescending?
    Happy for the idea of building houses, but isn’t that example of what power and not thinking outside the box can do to local job creation?

  2. Batibou River
    August 16, 2020

    More PIE IN THE SKY from the deceiver and no doubt some Dominicans will believe him again. Think about it, most of those houses are occupied already and will have all these items in question already in it. In other words, he furnishes the properties and then he tell them they need furniture manufacturers. Also don’t be fooled, there won’t be any more houses because the CBI kitty is empty already, mainly due to wrong accounting. Dominicans, you need to ask questions and insist on telling answers.

  3. Diamond Homes Designs
    August 15, 2020

    How can furniture makers sign up to be part of this project?

  4. Original
    August 15, 2020

    So who are the furniture manufacturers whom benefitted initially?

  5. Joseph John
    August 14, 2020

    This is a great idea. But besides homes we should be making furniture for all buildings: homes, business, offices, hotels, churches and the entertainment industries.

    • Roger Burnett
      August 16, 2020

      I agree Joseph, but design is a critical factor.

      In the past master craftsmen developed an instinctive sense of design by way of using hand tools at the workbench. For machine orientated furniture manufacture good design has to be instilled by other means.

      Our schools and colleges do not run courses in design. In the past I have offered introductory workshops in design, including furniture design, but alas there has been no takers.

      Unless we can experience good design in our everyday lives – be it the chair we sit on, the house we live in, the plates we eat off or the clothes we wear – we have no means of distinguishing the good from the bad.

      • Joseph John
        August 17, 2020

        Roger, one factor that affect our lifestyle design is our preference for imported goods and ideas over domestic .
        An other is that there is a disconnect between government policies and their execution and implementation by the private sector. We operate within a free enterprise system which we prefer than the central economic system which as operated in (say) China. That is our choice.
        There need to be a partnership between the private sector and the public sector if we want to move to a higher level in our development.
        Every policy idea that is introduced by the government is frowned upon and receive negative response. We have to change our attitude towards domestic goods and services. Look at the Staycation as an example of domestic tourism. Great idea that should be encouraged. So this furniture idea is also a great one that should be encouraged. It has the potential to change our attitude towards local made.
        Up to the 1960’s most furniture was locally made of wood.

    • RoRo
      August 16, 2020

      You are a dreamer when it comes to Skerrit! Perhaps they could also make furniture and sell it in bulk to IKEA! You day dreamer!

    • Joseph John
      August 16, 2020

      We should also organize the clothing industry to the point where we do not have to import clothes or any amenities made from cloth. We can import cloth but no “ready made”. We can have fashion houses also. Judging by elaborate costumes we design and make for carnival we are already halfway there.
      Our population of 70 thou can support a major clothing industry. For example T-shirts that everyone likes (from babies to senior citizens).
      Food is an other area of concern. We should be working on reducing our import bill with import substitution and export. Look at Israel, they are importing only 10% of their food requirement and the have a high percentage of food exports
      We have the ability and natural resources to achieve these goals.
      Dominica has a free enterprise system and the government policies support it. But if the private sector is not performing government duty is to step up/in with organizing, motivating , financing and training in all aspect of management.

  6. L C Matthew
    August 14, 2020

    He said that going forward, the Government has taken a decision to use only locally manufactured kitchen cabinets and closets in all of the homes that are being built in Dominica.

    According to the prime minister, his government is also taking that a step further and in respect to school furniture, “we will utilize local artisans, local furniture makers to manufacture furniture for our schools in Dominica.” after 20 years in office. Here is the cruelty: with so many homes being built that should have been a boom to the economy. The local contractors and local carpenters and masons should be smiling. That boom should spur shop keepers, plumbers, architects, electricians, painters etc. That means people working at harris paints and the other retailers connected to the construction industry would be seeing increased revenue. This is how the economic engine works. More people in the local restaurants hence revenue for restaurant employees. They in turn shop in grocery stores.

    • L C Matthew
      August 14, 2020

      Continue……. The MOF should be able to capture that economic impact on the country and present to the people. Instead what we have is one company MMC using passport sales to build at their own will with little input from citizens, retailers and professionals thereby denying the country the potential tax revenue it could generate. This is gross failure and incompetence when there is a nincompoop running the country. The objective is about deceiving the population for votes and not the long term development of country. Only now after 20 years you want to use local furniture manufacturing and think that will satisfy the manipulation and BS from the last 2 decades. Dominica is really a fools paradise!!! How can people sit and support this disrespect and manipulation i do not understand. Today we have more university graduates than ever before but it seems like we are more stupid. Is it because people independence cut because the took state funds to get education? Pure evilness

  7. Roger Burnett
    August 14, 2020

    I only hope that our “furniture manufacturers” (in other words our craftsmen) can aspire to a better standard of design than the housing designed and built by Montreal Management Consultants.

    Montreal Management Consultants would do well to reflect that good design for the 21st century is no different to good design for all the proceeding centuries.

    • p. R. Bellot
      August 17, 2020

      I hate to disagree with my good friend Roger, but I do believe that both his statements represent a biased view — as somewhat proved in his last statement which is nonsensical and absolutely untrue !

      P.R. Bellot

      • Joseph John
        August 17, 2020

        P R Bellot, Roger’s point of view in not nonsensical or bias. It is just that he does not look at the total picture. He needs an overview of the issue or he will fall victim of the mind manipulations of opposition forces whose ideology have no regards for facts or fairness. Everything is political for them. Its no way, if it is not their way.
        When Roger speak of wanting more emphasis on design I understand him. In the design of our education system our values are more academic than technical giving design a low level priority. I had occasion to visit a pre school recently out of Dominica and was surprised to see 5 year olds being taught to use a laptop. Posted on the bulletin board was notice of field trips to farms, factories, construction sights and zoo. I have see exhibition of art, woodwork, decour, cooking. At rodeos children who live on a ranch exhibit farm animals they raised while still in elementary school.
        School goal is to get an office type job. No grad,…

        • Joseph John
          August 17, 2020

          No graduation from high school no life. The education system is not designed to advance and improve the economic drivers of Construction, Agriculture, Fisheries and food, IT, mechanicals tourism and entertainment.
          I think Roger was using the furniture project as an example for designing life style. I have education in mind.
          Look at the situation of the high school candidates. If you sit an entrance examination and you pass you go to high school, if you fail….. ???
          This is too selective. Then you have to pay for high school. If parents are in a low income bracket the will not be motivated. So education in high school should be free even to include books and uniform. Admittance should not be by exams it should be automatic from elementary school to high school to college. No child/one should be left behind. Proper education is not a privilege. It is a human right. And should be designed on that premise.

          • Roger Burnett
            August 18, 2020

            Thank you Joseph, we are more or less on the same hymn sheet.

            The paragraph that Parry found nonsensical, specifically referred to “design” and not to “style”.

            Thousands of years ago artisans in Africa created excellent designs. So too did the Greeks a thousand years ago, and so on up to the present. Although the style of each age is different, good design of architecture, furniture and everyday utensils, remains the determining factor and a key element that history judges civilizations by.

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