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Jan 5, 2023

Port Area Rep Makes About Turn on M.I.D.H.

Gilroy Usher

While today was all smiles at the handing-over of the new starter home, it does not detract from all the criticism that Port Loyola Area Representative Gilroy Usher Senior dealt out toward the Ministry of Infrastructure Development and Housing only two weeks ago. The M.I.D.H. is led by his fellow colleague from Cayo South Minister Julius Espat, and Usher accused the ministry of being discriminatory in the manner in which it was distributing the houses, claiming that other constituencies were getting more homes than Port, when many of his constituents need access to affordable housing. But Usher’s blast only backfired. The ministry’s Public Relations Manager, Marisa Alamilla explained later that day that the contractor who Usher recommended had done a shoddy job on the finishing touches and that caused a delay in handing over the keys until the home met the ministry’s standards. There were installations and connections that were incomplete or done incorrectly, kitchen counter tops that were not leveled, and bathroom fixtures and paintwork that were sloppily done. Coupled with that, the contractor was reportedly busy painting Usher’s house instead of prioritizing the finish of the starter home for the handing over. His contract was terminated. And today when the media repeatedly tried to ask him about what all came to light after his chiding, he did not want to talk about it, at all. In fact, he stuck to basically one line and one line only – that he thanked the ministry for completing the home and that going forward, they all agreed on some changes. After some back and forth with the media, Usher explained that the contractor, like many others, is capable of working on more than one project at a time.


Gilroy Usher, Sr., Area Representative, Port Loyola

“We’re not in the business of looking in the rear view mirror.”


Marion Ali

“But there must have been some discussion.”


Gilroy Usher, Sr.

“No, no, I’m saying that I’m not in the business of looking in the rear view mirror. If you’re going to develop the community, if you’re going to develop the country, you have to look forward, you have to think positive. So, as I’ve said, Minister Espat, MIDH, all the supervisors, myself, other stakeholders – we’ve all agreed on a number of steps that will be taken to build additional starter homes in the Port Loyola Division as quickly as possible.”



“To prevent what happened here, could you talk to us about the contractor and how that process works? Is it left to the Area Rep or will it now be designated by the MIDH?”


Gilroy Usher, Sr.

“I’d have to just reiterate what I’ve been telling you over and over and I’ll repeat again. Minister Espat”



“Was there an error in what occurred in your case with the contractor painting your house because that’s the allegation.”


Gilroy Usher, Sr.

“Let’ me put it this way. We are not looking backward. We are looking forward, so I will reiterate again right. Minister Espat, the Ministry of Infrastructure Development and myself, the supervisors, we’ve all agreed on a number of steps that will be taken to build the additional starter homes in Port Loyola as quickly as possible.”



“Was there an error on your part, did you do something wrong in asking the contractor to prioritize a personal thing as opposed to dealing with the house and finishing it? Was there something wrong with what happened there? Accountability. You are a public official.”


Gilroy Usher, Sr.

“Mr Pott is a contractor who works multi-faceted so whatever responsibility he takes on, he takes them on with the full capacity, with the full understanding that he can do what is expected of him.”


Following the interview with Usher, the ministry’s PR Manager explained that they would want to give smaller contractors jobs to build the homes in the various constituencies, but in order to avoid a repeat of what happened, the ministry will select which contractor gets the job and they will be monitored.

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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