More questions are being raised about the urban development corporation’s (UDC) delay in handing over housing units to residents along Hanover Street in Downtown Kingston. The project which started years ago has left several families displaced as they wait for a commitment to be fulfilled. However, as we hear in this report, residents are also questioning the building plans that had been presented for the structure. The urban development corporation is yet to provide a response to questions about the Downtown Kingston redevelopment plan known as the yard transformation project.
Residents who were relocated are waiting for more information on the delay in delivering their new housing. The Consulting Architect at the UDC was Patrick Stanigar who has previously said that rooms will be constructed one by one to allow residents to move in and then demolish the old rooms before constructing others.
However, that has not been the case. According to a resident the building plans seen by those who occupied homes along Hanover Street had indicated that the rooms would be larger than they currently are. She shares that her family of three cannot live in a one-bedroom structure. She believes that the UDC should consider expanding the buildings to suit the varying family sizes.
It is a view that is shared by the Member of Parliament for Central Kingston, Ronald Thwaites says the original designs for the buildings was inadequate. “The remedial steps are going to have to extend the side of the studio units to make sure that it is really a habitable alternative to where the people are now,” he said. According to him, the UDC must realize that the displaced residents are willing to pay the mortgage for these homes. ” People are not asking for free housing, they are asking for housing on terms that they can afford,” he explained.
Khadijah Thomas is an energetic and charismatic news reporter and the producer of weekly feature: Missing. Khadijah is a passionate about news and current affairs and has a particular interest social justice and education.