Mon | Nov 30, 2020

HOPE to the rescue - Sisters living in squalor get new houses

Published:Saturday | July 4, 2020 | 12:26 AMGareth Davis Sr/Gleaner Writer
From left: Simone Pitter and one of the daughters of Suzette Pitter, who are among the recipients of three bedroom units in Annotto Bay, St Mary.
From left: Simone Pitter and one of the daughters of Suzette Pitter, who are among the recipients of three bedroom units in Annotto Bay, St Mary.

Annotto Bay, St Mary:

Three sisters, along with a combined total of 12 children, who were living in squalor, are now the recipients of the Tenement Upgrade housing development project in Annotto Bay, St Mary, which is part of the Government’s Housing, Opportunity, Production, and Employment (HOPE) programme.

They are Suzette, Kaydian, and Simone Pitter, whose worsening living conditions first came to the attention of member of parliament (MP) for St Mary South East, Dr Norman Dunn, who was reportedly moved with compassion.

On Thursday, Prime Minister Andrew Holness handed over the three-bedroom units during a ribbon-cutting ceremony. He was accompanied by Danville Walker, national director of the new social housing programme; Audrey Sewell, permanent secretary in the Office of the Prime Minister; and Dunn.

“This is a facility that anywhere would be rated as first class – strong, well-built. And we believe that they are coming at a reasonable price. Today, I am particularly proud of this project,” Holness said.

“I’m sure the Pitter sisters will appreciate it. They may not be in a position to express their appreciation, but you don’t need to tell me thanks.”

According to the prime minister, the Government had set aside $1 billion to construct more than 1,000 units across the country. However, he said that the budget had to be cut, owing to the COVID pandemic.

The keys of the new housing units with bathroom, kitchen, and a living room, were handed over to the three sisters.

Each unit is built with a septic tank and connected to potable water and electricity supply.

The Annotto Bay Tenement Upgrade was constructed at a cost of $22.7 million.

In his remarks, Dunn urged the recipients to take care of the facility, which will provide them with total relaxation and comfort.

“I am forever thankful that I was able to assist with providing these units to those sisters,” he told The Gleaner.

“It was the worst state of squalor that I have seen, and the children were affected. I made the necessary representation, and, fortunately, they were considered. Now, they are able to enjoy a more comfortable environment,” the MP pointed out.