16. The NHC has indicated that housing units for lower income earners should be provided at a cost of $125,000 to $195,000. However, the construction costs of these high rise unit s ranged between $300,000 and $450,000 per unit. Even though all the units were built within the agreed time frame, the high cost per unit obtained within these projects would have impacted negatively on the NHC being able to provide these units to lower income earners without substantial subsidisation – Special Audit by Auditor General 2016
The ranting of Minister of Housing Denis Kellman has crowed the news cycle this week so far. Based on BU’s unscientific poll the majority of Barbadians have dismissed his Facebook status post as ignorant. Surely Kellman has adopted a ‘strategy’ to deflect attention from his ministry by depositing several controversial status posts on Facebook. Is it wishful thinking to expect Prime Minister Freundel Stuart to take a leaf out of President Grainger’s book who is expected to reshuffle his cabinet today explaining that one of the ministers had become a distraction for the government.
It is interesting to note also a few of Kellman’s cabinet colleagues Donville Inniss and Michael Lashley -who were interviewed by Stetson Babb of Starcom Network -distanced themselves from the Kellman brouhaha. A month ago it was the turn of Donville Inniss to be snubbed by cabinet colleague Boyce regarding his view on how the South Coast Sewage mess was being handled by government (What is going on!).
BU is of the few the real story not covered by the traditional media relates to a comment made by Minister of Housing during the can potholes save lifes exchanges -that it is the low income tenant that qualifies the GROTTO Housing high-rise as a low income housing project.
His view is interesting given the findings of the Auditor General’s Special Audit linked above. Further, in several exchanges with David King of BU (click on FB screen grab) the minister refused to communicate the type of tenant – low or middle income – contracted to occupy GROTTO apartments. If one applies logic based on NHC policy quoted in the 2016 Auditor General Special Audit Report the GROTTO does not qualify as a low income project. It will be very interesting to hear Minster Denis Kellman speak to the GROTTO, a project that falls under is portfolio. Maybe one day soon he will make a status post on Facebook to update the public about the GROTTO housing project.
The public has also not been apprised of the details around how a 25 million dollar dividend was paid to Maloney of Preconco from the Housing Credit Fund (HCF) managed by the Central Bank of Barbados.
Question time Minister Kellman about the GROTTO!