By Latrishka Thomas
In short order, the residents of Booby Alley will be relocated to Bay Street, Villa temporarily, to facilitate construction of houses that will be done to improve the slum-like area in Point.
Minister of Housing, Lands and Urban Renewal, Maria Browne told OBSERVER media that preparations are already being made to build complexes on Bay Street.
“We are looking at doing complexes [temporary housing] for the individuals who occupy the Booby Alley area at this present time. The temporary housing is going to start pretty soon. The funding has been made available by the government and it is going to be located at Bay Street so it’s not too far out of the vicinity. It’s going to be close to where they are right now and then thereafter, we’ll be able to commence construction of the actual Booby Alley facility and making it an entirely new living arrangement more comfortable for the people of Booby Alley and Point area,” Browne said.
The government intends to improve the housing stock in Booby Alley by replacing the “dilapidated homes” with condominium-styled properties as part of an Urban Renewal Programme.
In October 2018, the government received a $100 million grant from the People’s Republic of China to go towards the construction of 250 homes and around that same time, it was also revealed that the project will be expanded to include squatters in the Perry Bay community.
When asked about the idea of taking the project to other communities, the representative for the St. John’s Rural East constituency said that that proposal will be actualised.
“Of course, it will be something that will materialise. Obviously, Booby Alley is our pilot project but we intend on spreading that same urban renewal over in the Gray’s Green community,” she said.