IN NOTING the recent presentation of houses to constituents in Point Fortin by Minister of Housing Pennelope Beckles, a little over a month after the general election, Opposition MP for Pointe-a-Pierre David Lee is calling on government to equitably distribute state-funded housing.
Lee noted in a press release sent on Monday, that this distribution ceremony came a little over a month after the general election. The distribution was done under that ministry's Housing and Village Improvement Program.
"I would like to enquire as to when the thousands of displaced constituents who are in dire need of housing assistance within my Pointe a Pierre constituency will benefit from this program," Lee asked in his release.
At present, he claimed, there were thousands of residents in Pointe a Pierre who have applied for housing and home repair assistance yet little to no action is being undertaken, leaving them languishing on a waiting list for years.
It is imperative that these applications are given some priority as thousands of these individuals have been thrown into severe hardship and vulnerability as it pertains to having a home due to some of the policy decisions by this government.
The minister, he stressed, must understand that the closure of Petrotrin, the massive exodus of fence line businesses and the collapse of the Point Lisas Industrial Estate, led to thousands of workers being unable to pay mortgages, undertake home repairs or pay rents.
"On a weekly basis, I meet dozens of individuals from Marabella, Tarouba, Claxton Bay, Windsor Park and environs who are seeking help with housing as well as housing-related grants. It is quite disheartening that our pleas for help in the past have not been thoroughly addressed as they are all citizens of Trinidad and Tobago despite what side of the Political aisle their Political representative sits on," Lee said.
He is hoping there will be equitable treatment as apart from the engineered hardship caused by the collapse of the surrounding energy and commercial hubs, many of his constituents are facing severe hardship given the contracting economy.
"Going forward I ask that issues of patronage as well as politics be put aside and ensure that citizens of Pointe a Pierre together with other Opposition Constituencies receive the assistance they need in a fair, impartial manner, Lee said.