Minister of Water and Housing, Dr. Horace Chang, yesterday (Dec. 15) handed over two of the two-bedroom houses, which have been built for Hurricane Gustav victims, to two families in Kintyre, St. Andrew.
“These are the first of the Gustav houses that have been completed,” Dr. Chang explained during the handing over ceremony.
Minister of Water and Housing, Dr. Horace Chang (left), hands over the key to one of the houses that have been built in Kintyre, St. Andrew, for Hurricane Gustav victims, to Latanya Davis (right), while her partner, George Campbell, looks on. The presentation was made in Kintyre, St. Andrew, on December 15.
He said that the Ministry is responsible for “identifying the spots for the houses, we build the foundation” while Food for the Poor constructs the houses. “I think it’s part of what is called the ‘Katrina Response’ out of the United States,” he informed.
In the meantime, Dr. Chang said that construction of the 489 units, which are being provided under the Gustav housing project, is “well underway,” with more than 40 houses being built in various areas all over the island.
One of the two houses that have been built for Hurricane Gustav victims in Kintyre, St. Andrew, which were handed over to the beneficiaries on December 15, by Minister of Water and Housing, Dr. Horace Chang.
“We are confident that we will get these (houses) finished within the first six months of next year.and have all of the victims whose homes were severely damaged by Gustav be relocated in appropriate homes,” the Housing Minister stated.
Senior Compliance and Investigations Officer in the Ministry, Lenroy Turner, said that the two-bedroom houses, which will accommodate families of seven, each took a week to build.
He noted that the beneficiaries were chosen jointly by the Office of Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management (ODPEM), and the Ministries of Labour and Social Security and Water and Housing. He said that persons, whose houses received extensive damage or were destroyed by Hurricane Gustav, were given priority.
Mr. Turner informed that a few more units will be built in the Kintyre area, “then we are going into August Town and then into different areas of Portland, especially in the Manchioneal area that was badly damaged, and also into
St. Thomas, St. James, Hanover, Westmoreland and Clarendon – almost all the parishes.”
Mr. Turner expressed the hope that the units will be completed early despite some of the difficulties that have arisen in terms of relocation.
“One of the challenges we have is that some of these people, who were washed away, didn’t have land for themselves, and therefore we have to relocate them, or they have to find a suitable site, because we cannot very well go and build on someone else’s land. They have to have proper security of tenure for the land,” he stated.