No new homes for HDC Greenvale flood victims

Tuesday, January 22, 2019 - 05:45

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