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Jan 11, 1999

Min. of Housing comments on subletting of Government houses

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On Friday’s newscast, we reported on a woman who was evicted after failing to pay rent. But the story also raised the issue of people subletting government houses. Today we asked Minister of Housing, Richard Bradley to comment on the situation. Bradley says when he took office in September, there were many problems with how government houses and mobile homes were being distributed. The minister says the housing program is specifically designed for low income households and there are only certain conditions under which a person is allowed to sublet.

Richard Bradley, Minister of Housing

“Persons who have access to a government loan and to a government house is because they need; it’s not because they have a house or two houses and they are trying to get and rent, like what used to happen to land. Many of us want to get a piece of land to build on and yet their are those who have three, four, six land to speculate on. That is an unfairness in society.”

Q: “So they shouldn’t be sub-renting government houses?”

Richard Bradley

“Nobody should sub-rent nothing. If you are sub-renting, it can only be in those instances where you have left the country of Belize with your family and have gone abroad to improve your situation and you can’t leave your house lock up, so either renting it to a family or in a commercial arrangement, so you can continue to pay.”

Q: “But should they rent it at double the price?”

Richard Bradley

“Well that is a matter for marketing forces. We are saying only those instances and similar type instances will be tolerated. That persons can’t be living in a house right here, which they own, and they have access a loan and turning around and renting, actually benefiting from it. That is not the intention of the program.”

In case you are wondering what happened to Claudette Miller who was evicted from the government home she was subletting for one hundred and fifty dollars a month, we were informed by the office of Minister Cordel Hyde, Area Representative for Lake Independence, that Miller, received a mobile home this morning. However, this afternoon we received a copy of a letter to Claudette Miller that she has been given permission to continue occupying the house on Oleander Street. The reason given was that her landlord Florentino Azueta had no authority to sublet the house to her and that his tenancy agreement had been terminated in July of 1998. According to Cardinal Usher, assistant to area representative, Cordel Hyde, the Minister informed him that the Azuetas, who had taken Miller to court for owing them rent, were not forthcoming with their own payments of seventy-one dollars a month to the Department of Housing.

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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