IF letters threatening eviction were sent to over 100 Housing Development Corporation (HDC) tenants for failing to pay their rent, then the Government might soon have a big problem on their hands, says former Housing Minister Dr Roodal Moonilal.
Moonilal yesterday said he received numerous complaints from HDC occupiers and tenants that they received eviction notices for late payments or failing to pay their rent.
He said many of those who received eviction notices have come knocking at his Oropouche East constituency office seeking assistance.
Moonilal called on Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley, who is also the new Housing and Urban Development Minister, to consider the plight of the tenants.
Acknowledging that tenants must pay-up, as he, as the former minister, advocated a policy of prompt payments for units, Moonilal said given the unemployment rate in the country, a more humane approach is needed. “I call on the minister of Housing and Urban Development to institute a humane policy to protect the homes of citizens who have been the victims of economic hardships and mass unemployment.“I have received complaints from persons whose contracts have not been renewed by various ministries and state enterprises. Many of these workers occupy HDC units by licence or are renters. Having paid up monthly installments and rent during their period of employment, today, due to the indiscriminate lay-offs by the government, many cannot meet their monthly payments.”
Monilal suggested the HDC implement a moratorium on payments for a specific time to ensure that those retrenched or laid-off are given ample time to seek further employment.
He warned against government adopting “a cold and rigid approach” by issuing eviction notices to tenants.