ST. GEORGE, GRENADA, May 22, 2015 – GIS: The Government of Grenada’s journey to uplift the standard of living conditions for Grenadians continued on Wednesday as it distributed more than one hundred housing units to persons in the Soubise area and other communities in the parish of St. Andrew, under the Chinese Housing Project.
People who have been living along the seafront in Soubise and surrounding areas, as well as those who are vulnerable to flooding and other hazards due to rising sea levels, have been given priority.
Housing Minister, Hon. Delma Thomas, told persons attending the handover ceremony that the reason for relocating persons to the Soubise units are different compared to the occupation of similar Chinese units in Frequente and Mt. Rush.
She said while the Frequente and Mt. Rush units solve a major problem for low income persons in dire need of housing, relocating residents from low lying areas, such as the Soubise seafront, averts a potential disaster.
“After the advent of Hurricane Ivan, government decided that after the devastation and what happened to the people of the seafront, that the reason why they constructed those houses here was to ensure that the persons no longer have to undergo that level of devastation. And we had to discuss it with them to make sure we got it right, that is why it took us so long," Minister Thomas said.
According to the minister, government is working with the seafront dwellers in Soubise, especially the boat owners, to assist them in their relocation.
" We understand that some of them have their boats to secure, and therefore government is taking the initiative, together with the Parliamentary Representatives, to ensure that we provide that level of security before we ask them to leave their livelihoods and come up to this area," she said.
Parliamentary Representatives for the constituencies for St. Andrew's East, Hon. Emmalin Pierre and St. Andrew's South West, Hon. Yolande Bain-Horsford attended the handover ceremony and said they are happy that many of the successful applicants come from their constituencies.
"I want to say how extremely happy I am that this is happening today, " Hon. Pierre said. " ...I am happy and satisfied that, as a government, we have had significant consultation with these people from since 2005 all the way down to a night ago and we have done everything possible to do the best we can to accommodate them."
Hon. Bain-Horsford also expressed similar sentiments and said she has high expectations for the new housing community that will be established in her constituency.
" I am happy to be welcoming them and we hope that the people will value this community that we are building here. We hope that they will work together in harmony to ensure that we reach the right point," she said.
One recipient from the seafront area said she is sad she has to move, but understands the reason why she has to. "I'm feeling very sad because I have to leave my private property . which I own, to come up here to this environment, but for safety issues, I am very happy," she said.
On the other hand, a recipient from Dunfermline says he is glad his moment has finally arrived. "I'm feeling very happy and excited. As humans new things excite us and its a great moment for me," he said.