Sunday 24 June, 2018

Moonilal dismisses Mitchell's HDC commitments as "empty promises"

Housing Minister Randall Mitchell's tour of five Housing Development Corporation (HDC) developments along the East/West corridor on Friday has been dismissed as "public grandstanding" by former Housing Minister Dr Roodal Moonilal.

Mitchell, accompanied by HDC officials, led media on a tour of the five sites on Friday and boasted that the housing programme was much improved under the current People's National Movement (PNM) government.

In a statement, however, Moonilal called on Mitchell to identify a single house built under his stewardship over the past two years and to provide specifics of the planned construction of 8,000 homes over the next three years. 

Mitchell said on Friday that some 8,000 units would be added to the housing stock by 2020 while 700 would be delivered to applicants before the end of the year.

Moonilal accused Mitchell of pandering for media attention in order to cover up the failure of the housing programme.

He said 8,000 homes in three years was nothing but an empty promise.

"Mr. Mitchell has engaged in public grandstanding – complete with hard hat and boots – while insisting that he will construct 8,000 units over the next 36 months despite his miserable record of non-performance," he said. 

"The Minister’s circus was doubtlessly aimed at capturing media attention after two years of wretched failure and obscurity, even in a Government of hopeless underperformers."

Moonilal further insisted that there were a number of housing project that have been abandoned and left to decay.

"Mr. Mitchell must provide precise details of his construction plan since there is no indication of any preparatory work," he said.

"The housing sector has collapsed, with heavy equipment worth billions of dollars rusting and idle and thousands of skilled industry workers unemployed." 

Moonilal further ridiculed the current Housing Minister saying he had distributed 700 homes in 7 weeks while Mitchell boasts of being able to distribute 700 homes before the end of the year.

He said all the homes distributed by the current government were constructed by the former administration.

"If the Minister can identify any achievement since his appointment, I will also believe there is no corruption in the lease of the vessel Ocean Flower 2," Moonilal quipped.