Housing Minister to meet with woman he "steupsed" at tomorrow

Wednesday, July 13, 2016 - 20:00

Trinidad Guardian: “Out of evil cometh good,” homeless Mary Paria said yesterday, as she revealed that Housing Minister Randall Mitchell has arranged to meet her tomorrow. She hopes that meeting leads to Mitchell providing her with a place to call home.

The meeting is scheduled to take place at Mitchell’s San Fernando East constituency office at 8.30 am, Paria said. She also said she felt happy the minister, who originally “steupsed” at her request for a house, had publicly apologised for his behaviour.

“I feel happy and I accept his apology and I want to thank him for reaching out to assist me,” she said.

Paria’s homeless plight was brought to the fore when she boldly asked Mitchell for a house while he was being interviewed by the media on the death of former prime minister Patrick Manning at the San Fernando General Hospital (SFGH) on July 2.

Mary, who has been sleeping on chairs at the hospital for the past year because she has no home, has also apologised for the timing of her request but said that was the only opportunity she had to interface with him as she had been seeking assistance without any headway for a long time.

She also used the opportunity to clarify that she never got two houses as is being suggested by the minister.

Mary, a mother of one, explained  when her Claxton Bay home was destroyed by a freak storm in 2007, she was assigned a home in Tarrodale Gardens. 

She said even though the Housing Development Corporation (HDC) records show  she was assigned the home and was paying a rent she never occupied the unit.

“I never got two houses. Number 86 in Tarrodale was assigned to me but the person in charge of allocation placed another man in it... but my name on the HDC computer as if I living and paying for it,” she said.

She said she was able to communicate with then housing minister Dr Emily Gaynor Dick-Forde, who was given a mandate by then prime minister Patrick Manning to assist the families affected by the freak storm.

“She ended up giving me a temporary house in Couva at Pelican Avenue but again the person who was supposed to do the mortgage and rental did nothing... so the idea about giving me two houses, that’s a lie.”

SOURCE: www.guardian.co.tt (Yvonne Webb)