Former ministers of housing, Montgomery Daniel and senator Julian Francis,along with current minister of Housing, Orande Brewster received commendation from prime minister, Dr Ralph Gonsalves last Thursday, September 1 at a ceremony at Orange Hill.
The occasion was the distribution of 27 houses to residents from communities in North Windward whose homes were declared to be unfit for continuing use due to their location following the 2021 volcanic eruptions.
Delivering the keynote address at the ceremony the prime minister said the three persons named “…are the three most successful Ministers of Housing that this country has ever seen”, who together have built “for the poor and the working people in this country, all different categories of houses.”
Gonsalves pointed out that his administration has already built close to 3000 houses, and has distributed over 6000 lots of land to people across St Vincent and the Grenadines.
“I want to give you the numbers you know, because it is happening before your eyes, and some people don’t see it.
“It is happening so easily, that people now expect Ralph and ‘Gomery [Montgomery Daniel]to work magic.”
In reflection, the prime minister said when the Unity Labour Party (ULP) assumed the reins of government in 2001, only few areas had middle class houses.
That is, up to Prospect on the Windward side and Pembroke on the Leeward end of the mainland.
But now, the housing landscape on both ends of St Vincent has been significantly transformed and there are middle class houses everywhere.
This, he noted was made possible with the 100% mortgages which were made available to public servant in October 2001, through the then National Commercial Bank (NCB) which is now the Bank of St Vincent and the Grenadines (BOSVG).
The 27 houses at Orange Hill were constructed with the assistance of the Sri Sathya Sai Baba Organisation of Trinidad and Tobago.
Stating how much his government cares for displaced families, Gonsalves said, “Ralph middle name is housing, ‘Gomery middle name is housing, Julian middle name is housing, and Orande middle name is housing.”
“Those of you who don’t get yet, you can put your pot on the fire, and you will get it.
“Mark the words that Ralph tells you.”