FORMER housing minister Dr Roodal Moonilal is demanding answers from government on its recently announced plans to build multi-million dollar houses in gated communities when in the past it stoutly insisted it will not build such costly homes.
Moonilal is also demanding to know who the houses are being built for and whether they are being built for relatives and friends of the ruling People’s National Movement (PNM). Last week the Housing Development Corporation (HDC) announced plans to construct houses worth $1.5 million to $2 million in gated communities.
In a statement, the Oropouche East MP stated the proposed construction comes after the PNM spent almost three years furiously attacking the housing policy of the then Kamla Persad-Bissessar-led government.”
Moonilal said the PNM repeatedly criticised what he called, the successful home construction programme of the Persad-Bissessar administration, claiming the houses were excessively priced. He recalled in November 2015, Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley said his Government will not build high-end houses.
He reminded that Rowley had criticised the housing policy of the former government and insisted that under his administration there will be no construction of million-dollar houses by HDC saying at the time, taxpayers of Trinidad and Tobago cannot afford to provide to people who are looking for million-dollar homes.
Moonilal said he is now shocked to see the Rowley regime – with the Prime Minister as Minister of Housing revealing plans for multi-million-dollar houses, without justifying the decision or detailing a construction policy.
“I demand further information on this matter. Why has the Government chosen to build gated communities? To protect whom? Their friends and relatives? Their politicians who are afraid to face an outraged electorate?”
Moonilal claimed the PNM led government is doing secret deals with contractors whom they had previously accused of cartel behaviour and fraud.
The former Housing Minister further claimed that the very contractors who were placed in court by the Attorney General are now being engaged in public housing by the Prime Minister. Moonilal said the about-turn in construction will give rise to “further waste of precious taxpayers’ money and redound only to the benefit of friends, party hacks and cronies of the failed Rowley regime.”.