HDC: Non-payment of rent keeps our hands tied

HDC building South Quay  - Photo by Vidya Thurab
HDC building South Quay - Photo by Vidya Thurab

MANAGING director of the Housing Development Corporation (HDC) Jayselle Mc Farlane is pleading with tenants to pay their outstanding rent arrears so the corporation can operate more efficiently.

Non-payment has been affecting the corporation’s ability to bring redress to long-standing issues by the very HDC residents themselves, she said.

Speaking at a press conference on Thursday at the corporation's South Quay, Port of Spain head office, Mc Farlane said at the Vieux Fort housing development in St James, 49 tenants collectively owe over $900,000 in rent.

“I’m using this opportunity to impress on our tenants that in order for us to address issues at the HDC, it’s very important that the money is being paid, because without financial resources, our hands are in effect tied. We are addressing issues, but it is critical for us, as a state agency (to have money).”

She said ten tenants at Carina Gardens Housing Development in Arima collectively owe $144,000.

At Cashew Gardens at Carlsen Field, 185 tenants owe over $4 million.

At the apartment complex in Olera Heights, San Fernando, 100 tenants owe the corporation a little over $2 million.

She was unable to give the total figure owed to the corporation, but promised to share the information soon.

The HDC has started several measures to retrieve the outstanding money.

“So we extended our hours. We have increased the online method of payment, such as we've added ourselves to the e-pay system at the bank.

“We have embarked on an exercise – whilst it’s something that we do appreciate – we have sent letters to our tenants a notice to pay for non-payment, and it’s not non-payment because of covid19, it's non-payment for owing for many years.”

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