Thursday, June 13, 2013

63 Acres acquired by THA from Latoor Family for Housing Development

THA Chief Administrator Dr. Ellis Burris and
THA Chief Secretary Orville London distributed land leases
 in December 2012 as part of the Assembly’s housing program
In preparation for what seems to be the thrust of the  upcoming Tobago House of Assembly's (THA) budget, the THA has acquired 63 acres of land from the Latour family.  The relatively flat land was purchased by the THA after much deliberation for a whopping $73.5 million.

Chief Secretary, Orville London indicated that thousands of Tobagonians are currently waiting on the THA for housing, as more than 6000 islanders are now on the waiting list. 

London has indicated that this year's budget would place significant emphasis on housing development, and stated that the acquisition of lands at Shirvan, and Mt Pleasant Roads was necessary to facilitate the housing programme. This year's THA budget will request significant funding from Central Government for housing development to meet the needs of over 6000 islanders who have applied for homes.

The Chief Secretary further stated that as of April 2012, THA representatives discussed a document which indicated the Division "at that time, had on file 4,480 applications for persons in Tobago who wished to have access to Assembly constructed houses." London speaking at the weekly Post Executive Council media briefing stated that the Assembly did not have the lands "to even meet 30 percent of that demand,". "It is in that context, the Division would have made an initial recommendation for the purchase of three properties."  at Roxborough, Delaford and Mt. Pleasant.

London noted that the THA had obtained permission from Town and Country to build on the land. "We are now looking at receiving requests for proposals with respect to the construction of these houses."

Further, THA representatives would be discussing the "the whole question of additional funding to be made available to the Tobago House of Assembly" with representatives of the Central Government. He said while he planned to discuss the Tobago housing issue with Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar , Settlements Secretary Huey Cadette also planned to discuss the issue with the Minister of Housing and the Environment Dr Roodal Moonilal.

He pointed to a key aspect within the THA upcoming budget stating that the THA will be "requesting a significant amount of money for housing.  And if we do get the funding, then we have to have the land in order to put down the houses."

The THA budget will be presented on June 24 and the debate on June 27th.

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