The Labour Party Administration’s ongoing housing revolution has touched another ten families, this time based in Cochrane. 

The new homeowners received keys to their new homes at a handing over ceremony held on Tuesday, June 8 2021.

These ten single unit homes are the result of a partnership between the Government of Dominica and Sustainable Housing Solutions with each of these homes costing upwards of two hundred thousand dollars.

Prime Minister of Dominica, Honourable Roosevelt Skerrit stated that this is one of the ways that his Government has chosen to tackle the issue of poverty in the country.

“I am of the view that one of the ways to address poverty is through housing. Once you have decent accommodation with access to the amenities once you have decent accommodation with access to the amenities, your standard of living will automatically improve. But we recognize as Government that while it is not our fundamental function or responsibility to provide housing to citizens not only as a political obligation to help those we represent but as a biblical obligation” PM Skerrit noted.

PM Skerrit told the beneficiaries that “as of today, June 8th 2021, you will have a piece of Dominica. And not only just a piece of Dominica, but you will have a home on that piece to call yours,” adding that his Government is “building a sense of pride, a sense of belonging in our people. This is beyond just a mere shelter, it is an asset.”

Member of Parliament for the Roseau Valley Constituency, Honourable Dr. Irving McIntyre urged the recipients to take advantage of the opportunities that the new homes have afforded them.

“You owning a house provides comfort and safety but most importantly it is an opportunity to make a home and build a family. You have to make this work for you and your family. This is the investment that this Government is putting into you. Through proper climate resilient housing, you are being empowered. You don’t have to panic whenever the hurricane season is approaching. You have peace of mind. Also your ability to maintain proper domestic hygiene, a healthier household and ultimately a more productive family unit and community. We expect to see improved academic performances as well; your children must do better at school because the environment is more conducive for homework and learning,” Dr. McIntyre stated.

“This is where your discipline is being challenged. This is where you must make sure that the extra money available is invested into worthwhile and productive activities. Rise to the occasion and do not waste this money. You must appreciate the fact that you are not paying for these houses and it is your Labour Party Government that is doing it for you,” the MP went on to state.

 Senior Minister and Minister for Housing and Urban Renewal, Honourable Reginald Austrie noted that while building resilient homes is more expensive, the Government has chosen to follow the resilient route as it has proven to be more sustainable for the country.

“Government has taken a decision that we will build resilient structures. It will cost you more money but we believe that our people deserve it and our country deserves it. We cannot afford to build the same thing every year, because we are threatened by hurricanes every year and we cannot afford to be doing the same over and over again. So we have to do it once and for all and we have to ensure that the house we build will be able to sustain a category 5 like Maria,” the Housing Minister stated.

Honourable Austrie went on to say that these homes are an opportunity to build strong families and secure the future of Dominica.

“The house is just the structure, but the conversion of a house into a home is what is critical, because as you know in homes, that is where the future of communities and the future of our country begins. A home is where a father and a child can sit down and converse and grow and develop as decent families. And these homes are an opportunity to create true families,” Minister Austrie further added.

Meanwhile Representative of Sustainable Housing Solutions Ltd Mr. Israel Hewitt explained that all the homes were built to withstand hurricane force winds as well as seismic activity.

“All these homes are built as fully engineered concrete structures including a concrete roof which is energy efficient and keep the homes cool inside. They are also designed to withstand the intensity of a category 5 hurricane and seismic conditions, thereby ensuring the safety and peace of minds of those living in the homes,” Mr. Hewitt noted.

Ms. Sharon Michael, who received a key, expressed her heartfelt thanks to the Prime Minister for her new home.

“I want to thank my Prime Minister for everything he has done for each and every one of us. Without you, I don’t know where we would be and we thank you from the bottom of our heart. I also want to thank my Pal Rep Dr. Irving McIntyre, someone we love dearly,” Ms. Michael stated.