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September 26, 2014
HLDC Chairman: We accept responsibility

Chairman of the Housing and Land Development Corporation (HLDC) Beresford Phillips says that compromising during construction, may have contributed to the collapse of a house, at the government housing development at Clare Valley.

Phillips made the disclosure yesterday, while speaking with the owners of houses which are under construction at the government housing {{more}} development at Green Hill, during a meeting at the HLDC office.

“We have to accept the responsibility for maybe not enough supervision. We take things for granted and lapse on our supervision. It is not to say the soil or the area is not a good area for construction. I am assuming that there was some compromising of the recommendation given by the geotechnical study,” Phillips said.

“Clare Valley was no exception and a geotechnical study was done on Clare Valley. There were certain recommendations made as recommendations are made on all the different sites we construct. What happened at Clare Valley is very unfortunate…,” Phillips said, describing what transpired at Clare Valley, as a “tragedy one too much.”

“When you invest in a house, it’s a lifetime investment and every effort must be made by the contractor, which happens to be us, and the homeowner to protect that investment. We will do the construction aspect of it and make sure the home is secure, but there are other ancillary items that you as homeowners, will be required to keep on maintaining in order that your structure can last you as long as reasonably possible,” he stated.

Phillips also stated that what transpired at Clare Valley is unlikely to happen at Green Hill, as a soil analysis test has already been done for Green Hill.

The meeting of the homeowners at Green Hill was called to give an update of the project and explain the delay in completing the houses.

The Chairman said the meeting was not called because of what transpired in Clare Valley, as a date had already been set for the meeting.

“I know quite a bit of fear might be instilled in the minds of new homeowners since the Clare Valley incident. Any site where we do construction work, we would have a technical study done. Given what transpired years ago under previous administration at Gibson Corner, we will have the relevant institutions to do an analysis of the land and advise us accordingly,” Phillips said.

On September 19, a house owned by Dr Katisha Douglas collapsed at the government housing development at Clare Valley. She and her daughter had been occupying the house for the past 18 months. No one was home at the time of the incident.