Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : November 16th 2013 Contents Minimum wage still to be reviewed --- McLeod News --- Page A6
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From page A1
Asked how the
were to be locat-
ed, Peter Forde,
ect adviser, said
this does not
take much work
because of the
age of land. He
said there is a big
houses on the
ridor and in the
West, but there
is a shortage of
land for housing in these areas.
John also said while people may see "naked
windows" in HDC houses around the country
and think they are unoccupied, they are, in fact,
"not unallocated." She said there are more than
2,000 nearing completion. However, John said
another 465 houses done by contractors had to
be suspended and retendered.
When the Government assumed power, John
said, it met 4,768 units which had been sub-
stantially completed but could not be allocated
because they did not have the necessary ameni-
ties, like potable water and wastewater plants.
A number of other units also had to be rescoped
because they were vandalised.
People s National Movement Port-of-Spain
North/St Ann s West MP Patricia McIntosh
wanted to know why the "look and feel" of the
Victoria Keys and Chaconia Crescent projects in
her constituency had to be changed.
John said there were garbage chutes in front
the houses, for instance, which did not add to
the aesthetics of the development.
Saturday, November 16, 2013 www.guardian.co.tt Guardian
Moonan on poor state of HDC affairs
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Uriah Butler Highway, Chaguanas
Housing Development Corporation
(HDC) chairman Rabindra Moonan is
claiming the corporation was a free for all
horror under the former People s National
Movement (PNM) administration, with no
financial statements for the period from
2004 to 2007.
People occupying HDC houses, some
from as far back as 1995, owe the corporation
some $225 million as a result of the mis-
management that occurred, he added.
Moonan said many housing projects con-
structed under the former PNM regime had
to be suspended by the present one because
multiple contractors made a mess of them.
Houses were built without wastewater plants
and there was no infrastructure.
He said the current management of the
HDC has been forced to spend more money
and expend extra effort to fix these inherited
These and other disclosures were made
at a Joint Select Committee (JSC) meeting
in Parliament yesterday, where Moonan,
HDC managing director Jearlean John and
other officials appeared before the committee
to give an account of how they were running
Asked about the HDC s audited state-
ments for the last few years, Moonan said
a huge backlog of non-existent financial
statements dating back to 2004 were only
"It was a horror. There were no financial
statements. We had to formulate documents
for the auditor and hire a private auditor to
help update the accounts," he said.
"That s why we are where we are. There
was no difference in the state of the hous-
es. It seems to have been a free for all."
Divisional Manager, Finance, Celia Lewis,
earlier revealed that the corporation had
only recently completed audits for the period
between 2004 to 2006.
Lewis said over $81 million in mortgages
were owed to the HDC, with $141m owed
from people under the licenced to occupy
Asked if an inquiry will be launched into
the flouting of the financial regulations and
if the matters will be taken to court, Moonan
said the auditor general will have to make
some statement on the matter
La Horquetta/Talparo MP Jairam Seemu-
ngal asked Moonan if his board was around
when the financial regulations were flouted
during that period and he replied, "Absolute-
Lauren Legall, Manager, Allocations, in
describing the state of houses the Govern-
ment met when it came into power three
years ago, was also asked by Communica-
tions Minister Gerald Hadeed what admin-
istration was in power when those houses
were built. She said as far as she could recall,
it was the former administration.
Moonan s disclosures came after PNM
Senator Faris al Rawi asked him if he had
to stick pins on a map where HDC projects
were, how many pins he would get.
Moonan countered that as chairman of
the board of directors he dealt largely with
policy matters. He referred questions on
the operations of the HDC to the relevant
Al Rawi had also questioned the valuation
of private property the HDC acquired for
housing at $170 million when a private val-
uator had priced it at $51 million.
Moonan, disclosing that 4,700 houses
were allocated between 2010 to the present
time, said when the Government came into
power, there were 7,263 units on the ground
left by the last administration. There were
no wastewater plants for a number of them,
he said. Referring to the unoccupied "towers"
in Chaguanas, he said it contains tiny rooms
and corridors through which one had to
He said he discovered, to his chagrin, that
no thought was given to whether people
could afford the houses built in Moruga by
the last administration.
"There were many, many faults in the
work done by the last administration which
the present board is now trying to correct."
His comments prompted Port-of-Spain
North/St Ann s West MP to remark that
his comments were politically charged.
Free for all under PNM
Housing Development Corporation chief executive officer Jearlean John, right, responds
to questions posed by PNM senator Patricia Mc Intosh during yesterday's Joint Select
Committee meeting at Tower D, Waterfront Complex, Port-of Spain. At left is HDC
chairman Rabindra Moonan. PHOTO:ABRAHAM DIAZ
• Between 2005 and 2010---3,500
• From 2010 to the present time---4,678
• 2013 to 2015 projection---9,300 units
• Unoccupied but not unallocated---704
• Nearing completion---2,030
• Troubled projects being rescoped and
• Houses the Government met without
for houses in
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