Hundreds to get new houses as part of the “housing revolution in Castle Bruce, Grand Fond, and La Plaine by the start of hurricane season.
GRAND FOND, Dominica (Apr 11, 2019): July standby. The effective start of the hurricane season is the schedule for the handing over of new housing units of over 200 families, still reeling from the consequences of Hurricane Maria.
‘Storm resistant’ units will be handed over to families in Grand Fond, La Plaine and Castle Bruce by the beginning of July.
These projects are part of a broader “housing revolution” under which, using funds generated mainly through the Citizenship by Investment Programme, the government has undertaken to build hundreds of houses.
The East Coast Housing Project component of the “revolution” includes 330 residential units in communities also including Delices and San Sauveur.
The units made up of one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments are under construction by the Montreal Management Consultants Establishment (MMCE).
On Wednesday, a contingent led by Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit and including former educator Gretta Roberts, who is eyeing to be the next representative for the area, toured the projects at Grand Fond and Delices.
Scores of people showed up at both locations to speak directly to the Prime Minister and the new candidate.
Prime Minister Skerrit also visited the schools in Grand Fond, while on tour – interacting with teachers and students.
“We look forward to July to moving 33 families into the facilities,” Prime Minister Skerrit said standing outside of one of the facilities at Grand Fond.
“For those of us who came here after the hurricane will appreciate the vulnerability of Grand Fond, especially where housing is concerned.
“We felt that the government, and the national programme needed to ensure that any house we built post-Maria we will build it with better resilience, so that families can stay in their homes, be safe, feel safe and survive (any) hurricane without any fear of the root being blown out, or the concrete caving in,” the Dominican leader declared.
“Those buildings will be handed over to the beneficiaries with no costs to them, but there will some conditions that will be placed on the maintenance, upkeep, and beautification of these buildings,” Mr Skerrit said in talking about one of the most ambitious and generous government-funded housing programmes anywhere in the Caribbean.
Sixty-six units are being built on both sides of the playing field at Grand Fond – the second set of units is at the foundation. The Prime Minister stopped at that construction site also to speak to the workers.
“As the caretaker of the Grand Fond constituency, and if I should say the incoming ‘Parl Rep’, let me say that the people of Grand Fond are deeply indebted to the government of Dominica for these apartment buildings,” Ms Roberts said in remarks at the first stop on the construction site visits.
“We have a major housing crisis in Grand Fond, and putting up these apartments will ease the plight of residents,” she declared.
“We still have other issues and concerns with housing, and (so) at present we are looking at the renovation, repairs of certain houses. And we intend to build six to seven houses for people who completely lost their homes. That is in addition to the apartments,” Ms Roberts reported.
She said that “very soon” applicants for the housing units being made available this summer will be interviewed, alluding to “a fair and transparent process.”