Government with assistance from the Chinese Government will this year seek to relocate families who were displaced as a result of natural disasters.
Housing Minister Hon. Reginald Austrie during an exclusive interview with the Government Information Service said a number of families from the community of San Sauveur will benefit from housing assistance this year.
“You remember when we had the landslide we had to relocate at least six or seven families from the landslide area. We have identified the lands for that and with the assistance of the Chinese Government we are committing to assist these families in constructing their own homes” said the Minister.
The Minister said residents of Mahaut who were affected by last year’s Tropical Storm Ophelia will also be given some housing assistance.
“In Mahaut after Tropical Storm Ophelia a number of people had to be displaced because they were right there in the course of the river, we are also seeking to identify the lands with the assistance from the Chinese Government. In fact the Chinese technicians are presently on island looking at the sites and looking at the logistics so we can start on this project early in the New Year” Austrie disclosed.
Meanwhile a housing project earmarked for the Cotton Hill area in Lagoon will also get off the ground this year.
“We have had this project which we have been trying to execute for the last couple of years. The problem we have had with that is the nature of the land. As you know Cotton Hill is probably the last piece of real estate in possession of the state in Dominica. We have at least five, six hundred acres of land which has always been dedicated to high end development. We need to be very careful how we utilize the lands in that area” the Minister explained.
The Minister said there has been some movement on identifying a suitable location within the Cotton Hill Estate to establish the housing project.
“We have been looking where is the best location that we could do those houses without affecting the aesthetics and integrity of the rest of the estate. Just two weeks ago officers from the land and surveys division were looking at a particular area. I think that area is suitable. We now have to go and do the land use development, the layout and sub-divisions. We are hoping that somewhere in the next couple of months we will have a document that we can take to Cabinet to decide on a way forward for the housing for the people of Lagoon. This project is still very much on the cards and we are hoping that sometime this year we will see some movement on that project”.
As far as land settlement and land distribution is concerned the minister informed GIS news that Government is looking to grant access to farm lands in the Rosalie and Delices areas.