Grand announcement on homes exposes flaws and inefficiencies at CHAPA and National Housing

The content originally appeared on: Antigua News Room

Government’s Affordable Housing Initiative Faces Public Scrutiny Amidst Claims of Nepotism and Inequity

During the Throne Speech, Governor General Sir Rodney Williams praised his government’s accomplishments in the pursuit of affordable housing and wealth creation for families.

The decade-long commitment to this cause has seen the construction of over 2,000 units by the National Housing and Urban Renewal Company and the Central Housing and Planning Authority (CHAPA), with several projects still in the pipeline.

The primary objective behind these initiatives is to provide families with a more sustainable and economically viable housing solution, surpassing the diminishing value of traditional wooden houses.

While the government celebrates its strides in the housing sector, members of the public have voiced their concerns and criticisms regarding the allocation process and the accessibility of these affordable homes.

“It’s who you know and who knows you in order to get one,” expressed one resident, reflecting a sentiment shared by many.

Allegations of favoritism and nepotism in the distribution of housing opportunities have sparked frustration among citizens who feel the process lacks transparency.

“And they pick and choose who to give house spots to,” added another resident, highlighting the perceived lack of fairness in the selection process.

Some citizens are questioning the qualifications required to secure one of these affordable houses.

“What’s the real qualification to get one? Because clearly filling out the application and holding a stable job even through COVID is not the answer,” said a concerned citizen. The sentiment among some is that the criteria for eligibility remain unclear, leaving many in the dark about the requirements.

Others expressed concerns about the condition of the houses and the services provided.

“Imagine having a beautiful faucet in your new home 🚰 and no running water,” remarked a resident, drawing attention to the importance of essential services in these housing developments.

One resident raised eyebrows at the involvement of politicians in the allocation process.

“Why do you have to go through a politician to obtain a home that was claimed to be built as a low-income house? I don’t get it,” they questioned, expressing skepticism about the transparency of the government’s intentions.

Critics also pointed out the location of the housing projects, with claims that some are constructed on agriculture lands.

“These houses are built on agriculture lands proper. I wonder if 🇦🇬ans will eat a house when the Powers that be lock down the trading routes and no food coming here?” questioned a concerned citizen, highlighting potential repercussions of such land use.

The frustrations extend to the application process itself, with complaints about the lack of response from authorities.

“I applied even before they built those in Villa and all now not even a call,” shared one individual.

Another, identifying as a teacher, expressed disappointment, saying, “I even hear non-government workers already got or are getting, but me as a whole teacher can’t get even a call up to now. I applied for land and not that I can get either.”

As the public’s reaction unfolds, it remains to be seen how the government will address these concerns and ensure that the benefits of affordable housing are accessible to all citizens, regardless of their connections or circumstances.

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