Augustine: There is a housing crisis in Tobago

Minority Assemblyman Farley Augustine.  -
Minority Assemblyman Farley Augustine. -

Progressive Democratic Patriots (PDP) deputy political leader Farley Augustine says there is a housing crisis in Tobago because young people cannot afford to purchase land or homes. He said so on Saturday night during a political meeting at the Beach Bar car park, Lucy Vale Road, Speyside.

Augustine, who is the party’s choice to be the Tobago House of Assembly’s (THA’s) next Chief Secretary, promised a PDP-run administration will revitalise the island’s housing sector. The minority assemblyman said at present, grown men and women were still living in their parents homes because they cannot afford to buy their own.

“You children grown big and they can’t leave yuh house. I still living in meh father house,” he said.

“We can’t leave we parents house because the opportunities for land ownership and home ownership are scarce. And that should not be. There is a housing crisis on this island. It is too expensive for our young professionals to afford homes.”

Augustine told supporters if elected Chief Secretary after the next year’s THA election, the PDP would develop lands owned by the Assembly and give them to young people so that they can build “brick by brick.”

“Because if is one thing I know about Tobagonians, is we are a proud people. We are industrious and hard-working and we may be working for little to nothing. But we will take we time month by month by brick by brick, cement by cement, a piece of steel here, a piece of steel there and we will build and build until we get the house of our dreams.

“And I know if we put Tobagonians back in charge of their lands, Tobagonians will develop their lands the way they ought to be developed. We have to encourage that.”

In this regard, the Speyside/L’Anse Fourmi/Parlatuvier representative also issued a stern warning to young people. “It is not a cool thing to think that you have to necessarily make children all over the place and have no sense of stability. It is not necessarily cool. There is nothing productive in that.”

He said if one were to examine the lives of some of the wealthy people in the world, one would realise they took their time to create stable homes.

“And so, at the backdrop of our housing policy is you creating a stable home for your children, which will result in less crimes, which will result in less juvenile delinquency. You have to see the bigger picture.”

Augustine said a PDP administration will also create sustainable jobs and end victimisation.PDP leader Watson Duke, deputy leader Dr Faith BYisrael and Tashia Grace Burris, the party’s candidate for the Tobago West seat, also spoke.

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