Our country is now at a state of flux insofar as the next stages of our development, which is largely dependent on the relationships between our leaders and us as citizens. This is a serious moment in the development of our Republic, so this is forming a key part of my Season of Reflection.
The long oil/gas boom we enjoyed is drawing to a close, so we are now therefore forced to really deal with hard diversification questions to maintain the viability of our society.
We have never before had such an educated population. Our country has more persons with degrees and professional qualifications than ever before – doctors, engineers, lawyers, IT specialists, accountants and finance professionals, lawyers, surveyors and teachers. We therefore have a citizenry which is capable of playing a huge role in the inescapable task of turning the corner into a new series of options for our society. Continue reading “Open Contracting?”→
Afra Raymond is with Ralph Maraj on i95.5FM discussing the hot topic of the day: the La Brea Dry Dock project. They cover the Government to Government Agreement; the contractor hired, the China Harbour Engineering; and the new Public Procurement System. Audio courtesy i95.5 FM
Programme Date: Tuesday 18th September Programme Length: 00:40:26
Afra was part of a distinguished panel of speakers at a pre-budget forum discussing the subject ‘Understanding Where We Are…Today – Trinidad and Tobago Economy”. This event was held by the Greater Tunapuna Chamber of Industry and Commerce. The secrecy of government-to-government or State projects are analysed with a conclusion that an educated population must be part of the diversity of views that become part of the modern national decision making process.
NOTE – Conrad Enill, Group CEO of Eastern Credit Union, did not appear at this meeting as billed. Mariano Browne, former Minister in the Ministry of Finance and Minister of Trade & Industry, spoke in that slot.
Programme Date: 17 September 2018 Programme Length: 00:15:00
“Until all have crossed, none have crossed…and some we have to carry”
— the late Dr Pat Bishop TC… timeless…
“…The Housing Policy of the Government of Trinidad & Tobago is based on the understanding that every citizen should be able to access adequate and affordable housing regardless of gender, race, religion or political affiliation…”
(the emphases are mine)
This is my second essay on the size and meaning of the Housing Gap. That is the gap between the beneficial intentions of the Housing Policy (2002) and the needs of the actual applicants, the neediest citizens, in this my Season of Reflection. The State Institution with responsibility to close that gap is the Housing Development Corporation (HDC). The Land Settlement Agency has responsibility for providing serviced lots but that is a minor part of the output.
The previous article opened by citing the little-known preamble to our Republican Constitution (1976), which affirms the principle of social justice by the operation of our country’s economic system to promote the common good. This week, my opening quotation is from the late artist, musician and commentator, Dr. Pat Bishop, in which important community values of assisting those least able to assist themselves are elevated. Almost socialist, in both expressions. I tell you. Continue reading “Property Matters – The Housing Gap part two”→
Afra Raymond is interviewed by Hema Ramkissoon on CNC3’s ‘Morning Brew’ on Monday 10th September 2018 to discuss the recently-announced La Brea Dry Dock project with China Harbour Engineering Company. Perspectives on T&T-China relations and government-to-government contracts are given. Also touches on Curepe Interchange project.
Programme Date: 10 September 2018 Programme length: 00:16:32
“…Whereas the People of Trinidad and Tobago—…(b) respect the principles of social justice and therefore believe that the operation of the economic system should result in the material resources of the community being so distributed as to subserve the common good…”
In this, my Season of Reflection, I return to my constant concern with our national housing polices and the outcomes of the State’s housing program for our neediest citizens. The quality of discourse and understanding is in my view rooted in the quality of the questions one poses. How we define the problem allows us to improve our chances of seeing and solving.
The inescapable challenge for our national housing program is to provide sufficient affordable housing options of a decent quality. The HDC’s waiting-list is now in excess of 176,000 individual applicants, which excludes co-applicants or dependents. Over 90% of those applicants cannot afford a mortgage or to ever buy their own homes. They are just too poor to do so.
So this is the big question which our Housing program must answer.
Afra Raymond, based on his research on the effectiveness and delivery metrics of the existing housing policy, was interviewed on the Power 102.1FM ‘Business Corner‘ by Sandrine Rattan on Housing Policy and outcomes.
Programme Date: 20th August 2018 Programme Length: 00:12:48