The Government of Dominica continues to address the need for safe and resilient housing facilities for families. The devastation of Hurricane Maria left many families displaced and in need of proper housing. Many could not afford to build their own homes and were left with a feeling of anxiety heading into the hurricane season.
On June 18 2020 marked another successful completion from the housing revolution as sixty six families in Delices received keys to their new apartments.
The Delices housing project consist of 2 buildings with 33 residential units each. Each building has nine, one-bedroom units, twenty, two-bedroom units, and four three-bedroom units.
In the midst of the challenges faced by Covid-19 the Government of Dominica remains dedicated towards the development of the housing revolution.
Prime Minister of Dominica, Honourable Roosevelt Skerrit is content with the development thus far. Prime Minister Skerrit called on residents to remain positive and continue looking out for each other.
“This Labour Party Government recognizing that if Government doesn’t play a part or assist people in achieving their opportunity of having a home, there will be many of us in Dominica who will never be able to have a home to call ours and to provide for our children. And that’s the reality of life. But we are a Government and a party of compassion. We understand and we know how people live; and whatever we can do to assist people in improving their conditions of life this Government has done it and we shall continue to do so,” Prime Minister Skerrit stated.
Parliamentary Representative for the La Plaine Constituency, Honourable Kent Edwards is grateful for this new addition to the village of Delices. He believes that these apartments can help elevate the community.
“This gift that you are getting today is indeed the best gift anyone could ever get, a home. Many, many, many people will live their lives, they will live into their geriatric years and may never be able to own a home. So those of us that have a home we are very lucky, and I am saying to you in Delices that you are a very lucky bunch. The people that are receiving today are the first set, but Rome was not built in a day; good things come to those who wait. So your turn will come. Everyone cannot receive at the same time, but your turn will come,” Minister Edwards noted.
Senior Minister and Minister for Housing and Urban Development, Honourable Reginald Austrie encourages recipients to maintain these homes.
“You must be considerate. You must have consideration for the person next to you. That is why you have to begin to live as a family. That is why you have to begin to live as a unit, because you occupying the same space. The house is private but the space is a public space and so we all have a right to take care of the space. Very shortly we will be coming back to Delices to explain to you some conditions that we would like to put forward to you, for your good living and for the good living of your neighbor. This is not meant to deprive you of your space but meant for you to enjoy your space so we will have issues like no pets, no noise, no renting of buildings, and very importantly we would like you to not interfere with the physical building, because in this building most if the utilities are connected. So you may have a plumbing problem in your apartment but based on how you deal with it you can affect the person in the next apartment. And so what we are saying to you is that if you experience any difficulties, you should call the ministry and the ministry will find somebody to come to assist you,” Minister Austrie explained.
Project Manager of the Montreal Management Consultants Establishment (MMCE), Christopher Timmins described Delices as the most challenging site as a result of the restricted access, however despite the obstacles they managed to complete in a timely manner.
“I always remember the first time I came here and I came down to the bridge. I stopped the car and got out and gingerly walked across the bridge and thought how are we going to get forty ton trucks across this? But we managed. We are very happy that you are now getting your keys to your new homes today, prior to the hurricane season starting off in earnest. We are confident that the buildings will provide maximum protection for you and your family in any climatic event and you can be confident that you will be safe. There is also a community room for those not residing within the building to take shelter as well as providing a multi-functional community facility for the whole village of Delices. Most of all you should take pride in the army of Dominican sub-contractors who have worked hard to produce these buildings and they have produced ninety percent of these buildings produced by Dominican tradesmen. From dry liners, to painters, to plasterers, to electricians, to tilers, to metal workers and plumbers; these are the people who have bust a gut every single day to get these buildings out to the level that they exist. Obviously these guys who have built these buildings are very proud of what they have achieved and these are their babies, and we hope that when we hand these babies over to you, you will look after these buildings with the same care and effort that they have put into producing them,” Mr. Timmins noted.
Chairman of the Delices Village Council, Michael Ettienne believes that it is up to the people of Delices to embrace this gift and turn this house into their home. He expresses his gratitude on behalf of the people of Delices.
“Mr. Prime Minister, I want to thank you on behalf of all our citizens in Delices for this majestic building on such an auspicious occasion. Thank you. We stand here today because our Parl. Rep, Minister Kent Edwards, ensured that the work continues with the help of the Cabinet of the Dominica Labour Party Government,” Mr. Ettienne stated.
The addition of a hurricane shelter will not only be of benefit during the hurricane season but serve as an area to host community events.
“I know that during the next storm, which we do not want, but if we do we will rest easy, because we know that this building here thanks to the Government of Dominica will house us because it is resilient in every capacity it has to take to be resilient,” he added.
Recipients of the Delices Housing Project are appreciative to the Government of Dominica for their commitment to providing resilient houses. They expressed their gratefulness firstly to God and to the Dominica Labour Party Administration.
“I feel super excited to have received my apartment here in Delices. The building is beautiful, it’s great. And I just want to thank the Dominica Labour Party Government for helping me receive my apartment today,” Shamika Sorhaindo stated.
“It feels great, and overwhelming. After Hurricane Maria I lost everything, I was homeless and so I want to thank God that today myself and my children we can live and we can sleep in a very comfortable place. Thank God for the Prime Minister and his cabinet and our Parl. Rep, Mr. Kent Edwards,” Vernice baron noted.
One elderly recipient Mr. Allan George was in tears after receiving what he considers to be the greatest gift.
“I cannot even tell you. My house broke down and I didn’t know what to do, but God is good and I am thankful,” Mr. George noted.
For more than a decade the housing revolution under the Government of Dominica has been providing thousands of affordable houses for Dominicans. The Government has partnered with Montreal Management Consultant Establishment to develop and construct housing projects as the Government continues to revolutionize the housing conditions in Dominica.