Property Matters – The Housing Gap part two

Property Matters – The Housing Gap part two

“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)

 

Showing Trinidad and Tobago A New Way HomeThis 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”

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VIDEO: Morning Brew interview on La Brea Dry Dock project – 10 Sep 2018

CNC3 LogoAfra 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

Property Matters – The Housing Gap

Property Matters – The Housing Gap

“…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…”

—From the preamble of our Republic’s current Constitution (1976)

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.

hdclogoThe 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.

How do we house those who can least afford good-quality housing? Continue reading “Property Matters – The Housing Gap”

AUDIO: Interview on Business Corner on Power 102 FM, Housing Policy – 20 August 2018

business-corner-power-102Afra 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

Property Matters – Invaders’ Bay again

The 17th recommendation of the Uff Report states –

“…User groups and other interest groups should be properly consulted on decisions regarding public building projects, to ensure that relevant views can be expressed at the appropriate time and taken into account before decisions are made…” (emphasis is mine)

On 27th July 2018, UDECOTT advertised for Expressions of Interest for development of the controversial Invaders’ Bay lands, in West POS.

invaders-bay-artist-rendering
Continue reading “Property Matters – Invaders’ Bay again”

Property Matters – the Stormwater Management Committee

Property Matters – the Stormwater Management Committee

The recent heavy rainfall and the accompanying flooding prompted me to revisit some items from the past which I had not written on before. It always makes me flinch to hear the statements on flooding from the UNC, for whatever reason. This is all part of my Season of Reflection.

Austin 'Jack' Warner, MP, Minister of Works & Transport
Austin ‘Jack’ Warner, former Minister of Works & Transport

This article takes us back to May 2010 at the point when the PP won 29 seats to form the government. On the night of the celebrations there was heavy flooding in south Trinidad due to heavy rainfall earlier that day. The PM-elect, Kamla Persad-Bissessar and the Minister of Works (in waiting) Jack Warner left the session at Crowne Plaza Hotel to tour the affected districts. The striking statement from Jack Warner was widely-reported – ‘Flooding would be a thing of the past under his watch.

So what happened? What attempts were made to deal with this national scourge? That is the topic of this article. Continue reading “Property Matters – the Stormwater Management Committee”

CL Financial bailout – the Information War, part two

‘The Upholder is worse than the Thief’

—from the defunct Trinidad & Tobago value system, decades ago…

The previous article outlined the issue of the form of information and examined the claims by the Ministry of Finance that the CL Financial accounts were somehow misplaced. This article will return to the question of form and then examine the issue of the publication of the names of the persons/entities who benefited from the CLF bailout.

Vishnu Dhanpaul_1_0
Vishnu Dhanpaul, PS of Min of Finanace

The Ministry’s PS is now taking the position that only hard copy correspondence will be recognised and apart from the absurdity of that position, one needs to examine that claim seriously. That PS actually confirmed his email address to me before I started this series of exchanges, yet he is now taking the position that my emails do not exist. As I showed last week, it is clear that my emailed message on the Ministry’s pattern of delivering letters to my office, even when those were addressed to my home, was received and understood. Yet even that letter of 31st July 2018 did not acknowledge the other contents of my emails.

It is simply incredible that the PS at the Ministry of Finance, in 2018, is prepared to persist with this pattern of communications. This, at a point when we are supposedly reaching for ttconnect, e-commerce, a Single Electronic Window and who knows what else. Well I tell you. Continue reading “CL Financial bailout – the Information War, part two”