Many residents of Portsmouth who were affected by the passage of Hurricane Maria in 2017 will soon receive newly constructed resilient homes from the Government of Dominica, as over one million dollars is being spent in the constituency.
Member of Parliament for the Portsmouth Constituency, Hon. Ian Douglas stated that improving the lives of citizens is part of the job of politicians. He noted that “all of the houses under construction and the one completed are going to really deserving people, we are taking about the elderly, and we are talking about the homeless.”
Caring for the elderly has always been a priority for the Roosevelt Skerrit led Government, and the administration, through its ongoing housing programme, continues to provide safe and resilient homes to the elderly.
The Portsmouth MP described the project as “heartwarming” as they are able to provide a comfortable home for persons who have served their communities and the country all through life.
“You know the people who have worked hard all of their life, performing various functions in the community and serving people themselves, it is very heartwarming to know that we have a Government in place that can provide those homes for these people free of charge. Not one of those persons will pay a dollar for any of these houses, and these homes on average will cost a 150,000 dollars. So that’s about one million dollars for housing in Portsmouth,” Minister Douglas noted.
The construction of these homes has contributed to the local economy in the Portsmouth constituency as all persons employed on the various homes are residents of Portsmouth.
“All of the contractors are persons from Portsmouth and they are employing other persons in a range of different services from electrical to plumbing to tiling, to the cupboards plus the persons who are assisting them in the construction and completion of these homes. And those guys are being employed around the clock so it is very heartwarming and tremendous and I am very proud of the work that we continue to do on behalf of the persons who cannot do for themselves,” Hon. Douglas went on to say.
The Portsmouth MP then praised the efforts of Government of Dominica for making the financing available for these homes, especially as Dominica is battling the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic and the related economic struggles.
“We are in Covid now. And Portsmouth is the epicenter of the covid treatment and the covid response of the Government. And that in itself is costing the Government millions. We have to provide the medication, provide the equipment for the care, we have to provide the infrastructure, the housing, the beds, we have to provide meals and do what we have to do to save lives; and amidst all of that there is great economic activity happening in Portsmouth,” Hon. Douglas added.
Project Contractor, Mr. Max Ferrol said nine persons from the community was employed on the project.
“I had nine persons employed here and I believe that the programme is not about doing it for yourself, it is to employ others so I took that opportunity to employ nine residents to complete the projects. It cost almost 200,000 dollars but it is a very well organized project and I think that we did a good job,” Mr. Ferrol stated.
He went on to praise the Government for the housing programme, saying “I think that it a key thing for people like Mr. Bruddy and others who can’t afford a house. Everybody need a house to live in and so I think this is a very good thing and I appreciate Hon. Douglas for really pushing to get that project down for Mr. Webster.”
One recipient, Mr. Webster Bruddy said that he is “grateful and thankful for it all because I have been suffering for the longest while.”
He added that “although I am way up in age, I am 77; I am thankful that at least one day before I return to my long home, I can compliment and congratulate this Government for all the good works they have been doing, not only for me but for my fellow citizens all around the island.”
Over five thousand climate resilient homes will be constructed for citizens and with the construction of these homes in the Portsmouth constituency and in several communities across the island, Government is well on its way to achieving this goal.