Time to pay up: HDC moving to collect arrears
The Housing Development Corporation (HDC) is stepping up its efforts to collect arrears owed by occupants of its various housing developments.
Several debt collection agencies have been engaged to pursue errant tenants.
This was revealed by acting Minister of Housing and Urban Development Colm Imbert during Friday's sitting of the Senate.
Responding to an Urgent Question from Opposition Senator Wade Mark, Imbert said the HDC has no intention to consider writing off the debts owed by tenants.
"The HDC has increased internal resources dedicated to the recovery of arrears and participated in several continuing collection exercises using both external and increased internal personnel to reduce the volume of arrears outstanding," he said.
Imbert said HDC staff routinely visits clients who are in arrears and has offered an option of a payment plan.
Currently, he said 56 persons at the East Grove Development, 132 persons at the Oasis development, 18 persons at the Eden Gardens development and 146 persons at the Cashew Gardens development are in arrears.
Imbert could not give an approximate figure of the debt owed to the HDC by persons in these four developments.
However, HDC officials have said in the past that more than $100 million is owed to the Corporation from tenants in developments throughout the country.
Imbert said the HDC is also currently in the process of assessing two additional families who were affected by the recent Cedros landslide. Temporary housing has already been provided to several families however Imbert said the issues concerning the additional two families were not discovered until sometime later.
He said the HDC is conducting an assessment to determine if these two families are to be granted emergency housing accommodation.
However he noted that all the affected families have voiced a desire to remain within the Cedros area.
Imbert said the Ministry of Housing is searching for land in the Cedros area where the families can rebuild their homes with assistance from the State and non-governmental organisations including Habitat for Humanity.
He said if State-owned land cannot be identified for this purpose, the government will be approaching private landowners.
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