Basseterre, St. Kitts, February 23, 2017 (SKNIS): The distribution of land and construction of government homes will be de-politicized and streamlined based on parish boundaries and not constituencies.
This is according to Minister of Human Settlement, the. Honourable Eugene Hamilton. Speaking on the weekly radio and television programme “Working For You,” Minister Hamilton said that in the past, the distribution of government houses was made a political process while making reference to the Ministry of Constituency Empowerment created under the Labour Administration. That department has since been renamed and transformed by the Team Unity Government as the Department of People’s Empowerment.
“Too much politics had crept into governance. If you remember, there was even a ministry set up called Ministry of Constituency Empowerment. The name alone tells you about politics. Constituency has to do with politics. We don’t call it that anymore; it’s People Empowerment,” Minister Hamilton said. “We are focusing on parishes…especially in habitats where people congregate and work and play.”
The minister suggested that the plan is to remove the possibility for political involvement in the distribution of houses across the country. Using the administrative parish boundaries will help in this regard, Minister Hamilton said. Meanwhile, the minister said that based on the data from the 2011 Census, the government can determine the housing needs of each area.
“The data before us guides us on where to focus,” he said. “We knew the population size in each of these areas from the last census. We knew the number of applications we had at NHC (National Housing Corporation) and where they came from, within what areas…and where people were applying to go, and based on that, given all of this data, we can determine the needs in each area,” Minister Hamilton explained.
Under the government’s housing plan to build a minimum of 300 houses, the minister explained that there is a possibility to build even more houses.
“Any housing developer is required to put in roads, infrastructure. If we are to apply strictly the development method of using infrastructure, we will only be able to build 300. But if I am calling on my government and my government is generous enough to provide the infrastructure in some areas then it would relieve the pressure of infrastructure in all those areas from NHC and put NHC in a position to build more than the 300,” Minister Hamilton said.