Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : May 13th 2015 Contents A5
Wednesday, May 13, 2015 www.guardian.co.tt Guardian
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KALIFA CLYNE and
A total of 1,408 families are
set to benefit from Prime
Minister Kamla Persad-
Bissessar s initiative to allow
renters in Housing Develop-
ment Corporation (HDC)
apartments for over 30 years
to buy them for $100.
The figure was disclosed by
HDC s corporate communica-
tions manager Maurisa Findlay
in a telephone interview yes-
The tenants who meet the
criteria will come from 402
buildings in 51 communities
across Trinidad, including
Beetham Gardens, Laventille,
Morvant, Lady Hailes Avenue,
Pleasantville, Maloney and
On Monday during a United
National Congress Monday
Night Forum in Diego Martin,
Persad-Bissessar said citizens
who had been renting HDC
units for more than 30 years
will be allowed to buy them if
the People s Partnership got a
second term in office.
She also promised to regu-
larise some 30,000 squatters
as she unveiled what she said
would be some of the party s
policy plans for the future.
HDC managing director
Jearlean John said yesterday
the HDC took policy directions
from the Government and
would follow the directive
given by the PM. She clarified,
however, that only people rent-
ing HDC units would benefit
from the initiative.
Findlay further said that
whatever conditions were out-
lined for the initiative, the HDC
would ensure tenants eligible
to benefit would receive the
best treatment and measures
to ensure they were included
in the process.
"This is something we will
get done once we have outlined
all the necessary details," Find-
Asked whether renters owing
arrears would need to pay it
off before becoming eligible
for the initiative, Findlay said
that could not be answered at
this time as the process needed
to be discussed further.
While Findlay did not pro-
vide a full list of the commu-
nities yesterday, she said the
information she had provided
came from an ongoing renters
survey being conducted by the
Yesterday, however, renters
in Port-of-Spain who fell
under the criteria outlined so
far said their votes could not
be purchased with election
Wayne Alleyne, a resident
in an HDC apartment on Nel-
son Street, Port-of-Spain, for
over 40 years said he would
not vote based on the prom-
"I wouldn t vote for nothing.
rent now so it doesn t make a
difference to me," he added.
Told that the $100 payment
promised by the Government
would be a final payment
toward ownership, Alleyne s
position remained the same.
"Look at those buildings,
how can you own an apart-
ment? The HDC already does-
n t do much, the apartments
are falling apart," he said.
Alleyne said the HDC, over
the years, had not paid any
attention to maintenance of
the buildings and asked
whether they were selling the
apartments to give up the
responsibility for the minimal
upkeep which they had been
Another resident who asked
not to be named said the elec-
tion promise did not matter
much to him.
"They can t buy my vote.
Why don t they talk about
catching Dana Seetahal mur-
derer or tell us about LifeS-
George said he felt the ini-
tiative was just one of many
election promises he would
One woman said she would
be glad to own her apartment
instead of renting it but added
that she would not vote
because of the issue.
Only HDC's rental tenants qualify for PM's $100 plan
set to benefit
Wayne Alleyne, a resident in an HDC apartment on Nelson Street,
Port-of-Spain, during an interview yesterday.
PHOTO: KRISTIAN DE SILVA
United States attorney Jack Russo,
who is representing Prime Minister
Kamla Persad-Bissessar in the Email-
gate matter against Opposition Leader
Dr Keith Rowley, has blamed a "cler-
ical error" for the typographical errors
detected in an email to the PM.
Russo, in a brief email issued yes-
terday, also apologised to Persad-Bisses-
sar after the errors caused a firestorm
on social media Web sites.
Persad-Bissessar in turn posted the
apology on her Facebook page just after
She also made a direct comment to
Opposition Leader Dr Keith Rowley,
saying: "Dear Dr Rowley, This is what
an apology looks like."
The letter read: "I sincerely apologise
for the errors in my May 4, 2015 cor-
respondence; as you observed, your
email in the address line was incorrectly
listed as firstname.lastname@example.org and the
date period in the first paragraph should
have been September 1st 2012 to Sep-
tember 30, 2012 instead of September
"These typographical errors were the
result of a clerical error and have been
corrected in the enclosed letter."
On Wednesday, Persad-Bissessar
released a letter from the California-
based attorney which was dated May
4. It said there was no match between
the Google-provided emails and the
emails read in the House by Rowley in
Persad-Bissessar had presented the
letter as vindication of the Govern-
ment s decision to suspend Rowley from
"Mr Rowley was suspended because
he fabricated documents with serious
false charges and introduced them in
Parliament," she posted.
But several critics who took to social
media questioned the authenticity of
the letter and even Russo s qualifica-
One Facebook user wrote: "Lady,
take your fake document and go with
it from Trinidad nah."
Another person commented: "This
woman for real...na man...how the sig-
nature different. Plus who proofread
that letter...I want to see a letter from
Google not the attorney you hire."
Even after the PM posted the apology
letter yesterday, social media users again
attacked its authenticity, pointing out
that the signatures on the two letters
did not match.
When the T&T Guardian called
Russo s office yesterday, a woman on
the other end said he was not in office
and she had no idea when he would
E-mails and messages left also were
Russo was listed as specialising in
Internet, computer law and intellectual
property litigation, according to infor-
mation on the company s Web site.
Social media furore over Emailgate letter...
PM's lawyer sorry for typo
The apology letter Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar posted on her
Facebook page yesterday.
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