Over the weekend, thirty (30) families of the Grand Bay community have been presented with new apartment units.
They received keys to their apartments during a ceremony held at Geneva, Grand Bay, on Wednesday.
The entire development cost $12 million, with each apartment costing $400,000.
“The poor are made rich, those who were suppressed under rent for many years, they are set free. They were almost like prisoners under rent for years,” Parliamentary Representative for the Grandbay Constituency, Edward Registe, said while delivering remarks.
“There are many out there who will not receive a key today and that bruises his heart,” Registe said, “But the 30 who will receive, I am certain they are going to be appreciative of it and that warms my heart.”
He expressed confidence that the Dominica Labour Party (DLP) will continue to deliver its development promises to the community.
“And so those who are not confident because they have not seen the groundbreaking for a new development, let me assure you that the rest of the apartments will come because a promise was made.”
He assured those who did not receive keys to a new apartment that they will receive one when the time comes.
Registe advised beneficiaries of the new apartment to live as a family.
“Live in peace with each other as a family, take care of each other’s children and do not quarrel and fight,” he advised. “You are going to be living right next to the secondary school, be an example, and be the best that you can be.”
It was made clear to the new home owners that strict rules and conditions will be put in place and an inspection team will visit the apartments from time-to-time to ensure that things are going well.
“There are some things we do not expect you to do [that] you would not do in your own home,” Minister for Housing and Urban Development, Reginald Austrie stated…“Very shortly, we will be coming back to Grandbay with the dos and don’ts.”
But residents got an idea of what that “dos and don’ts” list might contain when Austrie warned them them not to attempt to fix issues with utilities themselves but instead, seek assistance from the ministry. Garbage should be properly disposed of and no pets are allowed.
He encouraged the homeowners to form themselves into a community group to look after the infrastructure and beautification of their new apartments.
According t the minister, an additional 70 residences will be constructed to provide more homes for the people of Grand Bay.
He made the point that COVID-19 is putting a strain on the government’s finances.
“We have to be very conservative in our spending because this COVID-19 is costing us more than 12 million-dollars maybe, on a monthly basis. If not that amount, close to that amount, and so we have to put aside substantial amounts,” Austrie stated.
He said as long as Covid-19 continues, there will be challenges.
“Challenges in terms of raising revenue, whatever source it is, whether it is relaxation, whether it is agricultural production, however we used to work our money it’s going to be challenging doing it,” the Housing Minister declared.