“The Gaston Browne administration has been the most successful government as a builder of homes in the history of Antigua. Judged by the number of houses that have been constructed in a period of five years, the National Housing Company is a success.” So said the Honourable Maria Browne, Minister responsible for housing.
The National Housing and Urban Renewal Company, a fully-owned government company, has constructed homes at Dredge Bay that are all occupied. The company has also constructed homes at Paynters, and continues to work on completing additional houses. The company has also completed construction of all homes at Denfields. Approximately 300 homes have been completed; another 100 are under construction, and the People’s Republic of China has agreed to build 250 homes. CHAPA has also completed homes.
The infrastructure required—including electricity, water, sewage, roads and drains—has been a collaborative effort by the several government bodies, including APUA and Public Works; and by private firms, to include sewerage and water treatment. The Minister informs that while the infrastructure at Dredge Bay is complete, the roads in the Paynters project—where the houses are finished—remain incomplete. It is also the case that Public Works has not commenced road construction at Denfields where all homes have been completed.
Minister Browne expressed her thanks to the Ministry of Works for the work completed so far and has made an appeal to Minister Weston to complete the unfinished roads at Paynters in 7 days, and to begin those at Denfields where homes are complete but no roads have been constructed. The Housing Minister has asked for more energy to be put into completing the roads at Paynters, so that the keys for the homes in the first phase at Paynters, can be handed over to the homeowners within 10 days.
The Minister indicated that “enough is enough”; the several bottlenecks that have been slowing the works must be cleared, the Minister asserted. The Minister is awaiting completion of roads, utilities and sewage systems.
The Minister further adds that: “Monies spent to pay workers so that they can put food on their tables and meet child-support payments are not monies burnt, but monies well-spent.
National Housing, as at June 2019, controls assets of more than $150 million dollars; it has spent less than $75 million dollars in its five-year existence. National Housing has also spent $15 million dollars of its own resources to repair government buildings. Its annual reports have been submitted to Cabinet and to Parliament.