Moonilal: Gov’t creating more homlessness with harsh HDC evictions

Home*Cover Story*News

Moonilal: Gov’t creating more homlessness with harsh HDC evictions

Oropouche East MP, Dr Roodal Moonilal, has called the recent spate of evictions by the Housing Development Corporation (HDC), harsh, oppressive and malicious and said the HDC should instead work with tenants in arrears.

In a statement yesterday, Moonilal, a former housing minister, chastised the Government, saying it was creating more homelessness and economic desperation daily.

He said the HDC was encouraging criminal activity by demanding unreasonable payments from people who had been unemployed for years. He said the HDC and Ministry of Housing and Urban Development should alter their hard-line policy to blend empathy with law enforcement instead of callously throwing families on the streets.

Moonilal said errant tenants wanted to pay their bills and mortgages, but many did not have jobs and economic opportunities. He added that the T&T Electricity Commission also disconnected power from tenants in arrears.

“It is scandalous that the HDC squandered over $100 million at the Trestrail Housing Estate, where townhouses must now be demolished but are throwing people on the streets for $12,000. As shadow minister of housing, I have been meeting with HDC tenants who have been served with eviction notices. It is clear that if they can pay, they will pay,” Moonilal said.

Moonilal said the HDC must be reasonable and compassionate in these difficult financial times. He said it should emulate the practice during the People’s Partnership government of working one-on-one with errant tenants and property owners.

“The announced targeting of occupants of five HDC developments is ruthless and severe, especially in the midst of challenging economic times for the working class. Representatives of HDC and its asset management company should work individually with defaulting clients and negotiate a practical payment system. The corporation’s oppressive eviction of defaulting tenants and property owners will add further financial hardship to an already burdened society.”