Chief of Staff in the Office of the Prime Minister, Lionel ‘Max’ Hurst, stated yesterday that banks have refused to release any further funds to the National Housing Company Limited until issues, such as the construction of roads, have been completed.
On OBSERVER AM, Hurst provided an update on the administration’s housing projects which have been dogged by major setbacks and multiple controversies.
Potential homeowners have complained of the drawn-out waiting period to move into the new houses — which are being constructed at Denfield’s, Dredge Bay and Paynter’s – despite the fact that they have already secured mortgages with several financial institutions.
Hurst said, “The banks have also indicated that until such time as the roads are complete, that they won’t release the last of the money to National Housing, and in fact, the houses are complete, but the infrastructure is not yet there.”
Hurst placed the blame on the Antigua Public Utilities Authority (APUA) and the Ministry of Public Works for the slow progress in the completion of the [infrastructure], stating that “the ball is really in the court of APUA and Public Works.”
“APUA had agreed to plant all the electrical, internet and telephone wires, and Public Works agreed to pave the roadway after APUA had done its work,” he stated
He added that there seemed to be “a glitch” between the different work that needed to be carried out by APUA and the Ministry of Public Works.
Meanwhile, prospective homeowners have complained about the lack of communication on the part of National Housing.
Hurst said that while he could not account for how the body goes about communicating with the various parties, he implored them to use the various media that they have at their disposal.
“It would not be the best thing for National Housing to fail on account of its inability to communicate; there is all kinds of media that National Housing could use to communicate directly with homeowners . . . plus others,” he said.