Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : September 1st 2014 Contents How many ultra-rich, multiple homeown-
ers are there?
How many, I don t know. But as a practi-
tioner I can tell you it s a significant part of
what takes place. It informs how, when parcels
of land become available, what are the forces
that compete for it, and this is where the
boundaries between public and private become
very elastic. If the forces on one side have the
capacity to go after that piece of land and get
it before the government, that has an effect
on what options are available to the govern-
ment to build affordable housing.
So the HDC is competing with private
Absolutely. It s been referred to time and
again by various housing ministers. Particularly
when opening housing developments in the
East-West Corridor. Sixty per cent of housing
applications are for East-West Corridor---
where 60 to 70 per cent of our population
lives---but only ten or 15 per cent of what the
HDC builds is in that area.
So there s a terrific mismatch. In reality, the
HDC cannot find the land to build houses in
those areas because of tremendous pressure
on that land.
I went to a public meeting in D Abadie
about a newly-proposed HDC housing devel-
opment at Trestrail. Tell me a bit about that,
because it could be a good case study of what
the HDC does and how it impacts on the
local community and residents?
I don t want to limit it to Trestrail, but the
issue is: we have a burgeoning demand for
certain types of development and a limited
land space in the country. Roughly half of the
land in the country is forested. A significant
proportion is swamp that you can t build on.
Half of it is steeply-hilled---we could build tall
up there but the cost of supplying a modern
water and electricity is phenomenal. And the
rest, well the very rich sector of the population
know that if they buy, invest, in parcels of
land it s a significant repository of wealth.
So Trestrail is an old horse farm. Local
residents are not overly keen on 1,200 new
housing units and are angry with the lack
of transparency in the process. Is this what
HDC should be doing?
I don t want to get into a blanket condem-
nation or approval of the HDC. I want to put
Trestrail into the context of a broader discus-
There s a phenomenon you ll be familiar
with in the UK called the NIMBY. A NIMBY
is a perfectly reasonable person who is edu-
cated, believed Nelson Mandela should be
free, believe what is happening in Gaza is ter-
rible, want to save the whale, believe in free
education for young girls like Malala, all these
progressive positive things, healthcare, taxing
But the one thing you must never do to
those people is to come into their neighbour-
hood and put a development where poorer
people are going to live. Because they will
march and organise a big meeting and shut
you down. Because NIMBY means Not In My
Back Yard. Trestrail is a NIMBY kind of issue.
And, to place it in economic context, people
who have property as an economic agent, it
serves their cause for less property to be built.
Because if less housing were built the value
of their holdings would increase evermore.
And with Trestrail, like with the Highway
• CONTINUES ON PAGE A30
• Twitter: @GuardianTT • Web: guardian.co.tt
Myanmar's first international beauty
queen has absconded with her
US$100,000 crown after being stripped of
her title for being rude and dishonest,
organisers said Friday.
May Myat Noe's photograph was
blacked out on the Miss Asia Pacific World
Web site, the word "dethroned" stamped
alongside her name.
"She thinks as long as she keeps this
crown she's the winner," said David Kim,
director of media for the South Korea-
based pageant. "She's not."
Organisers said Noe had "lied" and
proved to be untrustworthy, but provided
Noe was not immediately available for
comment. She planned to hold a news
conference at a later time, according to
Eleven Media, a Myanmar newspaper.
Hla Nu Tun, who initially acted as her
unofficial manager, said Noe and the
organisers had disagreed over who should
oversee her career. Noe's mother wanted
control but so did the organisers, she said.
A half-century of military rule and self-
imposed isolation kept Myanmar
contestants off the stage of international
beauty contests until 2012. When Noe was
crowned in May, it was seen as a new
beginning for young, talented beauties. (AP)
Ex-Myanmar beauty queen accused of stealing crown
Recent reports that the HDC housing
waiting list has reached 200,000 have
thrown up questions about strategies
for land usage, housing design and
urban planning in T&T.
In our series on housing, JOSHUA
SURTEES speaks to architects,
planners and surveyors to find out if
there is enough land available, whether
everybody on the list can get a place to
live and what kind of accommodation
makes best use of space while
providing comfortable, functional living
that complements people's lifestyles.
The final instalment of our series
features Afra Raymond, president of
the Joint Consultative Council, MD of
Raymond & Pierre Ltd chartered
surveyors and an expert on land usage
issues, procurement and housing.
HDC housing in central
Trinidad. Chaguanas is
the fastest growing
town in T&T.
Housing strategy requires 'disciplined effort'
Afra Raymond calls Port-of-Spain's decline
tragic. PHOTO: SHIRLEY BAHADUR
Links Archive August 31st 2014 September 2nd 2014 Navigation Previous Page Next Page