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Sep 25, 1998

Government seeks housing solutions

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We felt their pain last month when we saw pictures of their two storey house which was reduced to a “bruk up” bungalow. Today one southside family is feeling a bit more optimistic. Patrick Jones reports.

For over three weeks now, Maureen Smith and her son have been living in hope of one day lifting themselves out of the indignity they suffered when their home of thirty-seven years collapsed. That goal moved one step closer to reality this week, as government lent a helping hand. As for the larger problem of providing Belizeans with shelter, Minister of Housing Dickie Bradley, says his advisory committee, headed by Ray Fuller, is working overtime to translate words into action.

Dickie Bradley, Minister of Housing

“They have made available the various plans for housing which can already be built. And I am pleased to tell you that in a couple of days time, the government of Belize will secure certain amount of funding to start the building of homes for the most needy of areas.”

Maureen Smith happens to live in one of those areas, Queen’s Square. She is among the first set of families that will benefit from the scheme. This mobile home that was delivered earlier this week, is not intended to be a quick fix for a bad situation. Instead it will put a roof over their heads while the Smith family begin the rebuilding process.

Maureen Smith

“Yes sir, it will help a lot, because as Mr. Bradley says, when this is up, they will knock down to the back there and then they’ll start the building. Well, right now I feel much comfortable. And I’m very helpful for everybody who assisted especially Mr. Bradley. He was the one that came way here and made an effort to help.”

Another group of people that are among the first beneficiaries of the P.U.P. manifesto promise are the residents of the apartment complex just off Vernon Street.

Dickie Bradley

“Well, you’ll be pleased to learn that on the twentieth of September, while perhaps most of the nation was celebrating, the Honorable Cordel Hyde and myself were there at that very spot. We were speaking to the residents. Cordel asked me to come along, because what he is going to do, I think he is holding a meeting either this evening or tonight with the residents, to find out who all wish to be relocated, most likely in the Lake Independence area where there may be available lots which needs just a little bit of filling.”

Bradley says the first homes to be built in Lake Independence, will be for the residents of this dilapidated complex. He believes that as construction of the homes picks up steam, the lack of space in Belize City will become apparent.

Dickie Bradley

“The kind of service we are getting from the task force is that it is of course quite clear that we will have to locate and proceed on a large scale basis to build homes in those areas, outside Belize City. Belize City has no land as we all know, but what has to be done is that we must put in the church, the school, the shopping centers, the police station, the fire station. We must have the amenities at those areas so that citizens in Belize will not be reluctant to go and live at mile fourteen, or mile eight or mile seventeen and then have to bus their children down to school in Belize City.”

That kind of project will prove more costly and complicated than moving a trailer into a muddy yard. Patrick Jones for News Five.

Among the first places earmarked for infrastructural development is the area at mile eight on the Western Highway, where over a thousand house lots have already been given out by the previous government.


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