HOUSING Minister Randall Mitchell distributed keys to Housing Development Corporation (HDC) apartments yesterday to the eight Cedros families left homeless by coastal erosion last week.
Speaking to the media after the distribution, Mitchell said his ministry is keeping a close eye on the erosion in Bamboo Village, Cedros and is ready to assist other residents if they are affected.
The families, originally from Bamboo Village, will live rent-free in the apartments in Lake View, Point Fortin for the next six months, after which they will be allocated state land in Bonasse Village, Cedros to build permanent homes. “The HDC is keeping a close eye on the situation. It is likely the residents on that side of the road in Bamboo Village are likely to be affected and, subject to technical reports, we would have to make available temporary housing for those persons as well as make the permanent solution that we will come up with available to those persons,” Mitchell said.
He said subject to Cabinet approval, the residents may be able to choose between moving to Bonasse Village and staying in Lake View. “We are developing a permanent solution and we have to work alongside the residents in that solution – we recognise that Cedros is quite a distance away from Point Fortin, so there is some displacement there. “We will work alongside the residents. Some may opt for a solution in Bonasse Village (Cedros), some may opt for a solution here in Lake View, but that is subject to agreement between the HDC and the residents as well as the concurrence of Cabinet.” Mitchell said five per cent of houses constructed by the HDC were allocated for emergency situations, people with disabilities and the elderly. “At the HDC there is an existing emergency policy and procedure and where there are applications for emergency housing those applicants are subject to that emergency procedure.” Candice Ganness, who lost her home in the erosion, told Newsday she was happy to have a roof over her head again.