While the Housing Development Corporation (HDC) is not considering relocating Greenvale residents who were hit by the October floods, some residents have also withdrawn relocation requests because of flood mitigation programmes.
Housing Minister Edmund Dillon made both points in the Senate on Monday. He was questioned by the Opposition concerning the situation with HDC’s 634 Greenvale development residents who were severely affected by the October floods.
On whether consideration is being given to relocating the residents, Dillon said, “The (HDC) records state that there is a steady increase in the demand for public housing with over 176,000 applicants on the waiting list.”
“In light of this, the Government is looking at other initiatives to provide low-cost housing by getting private sector involvement through the Public Private Partnership (PPP) and the Housing Construction Incentive Programme (HCIP).”
“At this time the HDC isn’t giving consideration to relocating the residents of its Greenvale Housing Development as there isn’t a sufficient supply of housing units to cater to all 634 residents affected by the recent flood.”
Dillon confirmed some residents had approached the Ministry for relocation but as mentioned before that’s not being considered “at this point in time.” He said residents had raised relocation even in public meetings on the matter - but he couldn’t give a specific figure.
Dillon, however, added that some residents have also withdrawn their relocation request.
“.....So it’s a mixture of people. HDC having done some work in the aftermath of the flood, some people are quite comfortable with the work that has been done.”
“As a matter of fact, there’s an initiative to do flood mitigation with the Works Ministry with HDC to prevent a recurrence of the flood that occurred - so residents themselves are reconsidering that request for relocation,”
The Minister said consideration had not been given to the establishment of a Commission of Inquiry into the cause of the Greenvale flooding. However, he noted post-flooding last year, the Works Ministry was instructed to do immediate hydrological probe into affected areas including South La Horquetta that leads into Greenvale.
“This will determine why Greenvale was heavily impacted and what physical work can be done to ameliorate the drainage systems and bring greater comfort to those living in that areas,” he said.
Dillon said the hydrological survey has been completed and is being evaluated.
“It’s expected that the design of an engineering solution to the drainage issues at Greenvale will be finalised by month-end or early February,” he added.
- by Gail Alexander