Year-end target for ‘500 homes in 500 days’

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The Antigua Barbuda Labour Party (ABLP) government has offered yet another explanation as the reason it has been unable to fulfill its manifesto promise of 500 homes in 500 days since entering office in June 2014.
Prime Minister Gaston Browne had disclosed in his 2016 Budget Speech that the housing programme would be financed with a U.S. $40 million loan from the Mexican government but that reportedly fell through after that country experienced financial difficulties of its own.
Sir Rodney Williams, the governor-general, used his Speech from the Throne on Thursday to announce that the more than three-year-old pledge would be fully realised by year end while outlining reasons for the delays. According to Sir Rodney, the resources that were initially targeted for the housing programme had to be diverted to meet a range of other unforeseen challenges.
“For example, the National Housing Development and Urban Renewal Company spent its money on repairing the National Archives, on the Dockyard Police Station, on the Coast Guard Buildings at the Deepwater Harbour, [and] on the library at the State College,” Sir Rodney said. Further, the old administration building on High Street was renovated as well as other government-owned buildings “that required carpenters, masons, plumbers and electricians who could not otherwise be quickly dispatched,” the governor-general continued.
Browne had used his New Year’s Day address to the nation to bemoan the financial state in which the previous administration left the country.
(More in today’s Daily Observer)

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