Today, the Housing Development Corporation (HDC) continued its action related to homeowner breaches with the eviction of Ms. Neisha Wattley. The three-bedroom home located in Eden Gardens, Freeport was retrieved by the HDC and will be allocated to another individual/family on the public housing database. The final decision was made, after a thorough investigation revealed that Ms. Wattley and her family had not been occupying the unit for quite some time. A number of interventions were made by representatives from the HDC’s Social and Community Services Department, Mortgage and Rentals Department and Allocations Department in an effort to avert this action by the Corporation. Ms. Wattley however did not take advantage of the opportunities provided. Ms. Wattley’s case is one of many which required action over the past six months.
In commenting on the issue, HDC Managing Director, Brent Lyons indicated that “it is quite unfortunate that after numerous attempts to help Ms. Wattley, we had to resort to this position. I do hope, that she is able to receive the requisite support from other state agencies to help her and her young children with the challenges she may be experiencing.”
The HDC has increased its verification exercises in order to identify breaches related to illegal occupancy, non-occupation and other homeowner breaches. Once a homeowner is found to be in breach of the rules and regulations, due process will be followed to enforce the rules and regulations. The HDC only resorts to its final position of eviction or retrieval once due process has been followed. Since January 2019, the HDC has retrieved sixty (60) units.
In December 2016, Ms. Wattley’s case and living conditions were brought to the attention of the HDC and in response then Housing and Urban Development Minister, Randall Mitchell, presented Ms. Wattley, her common-law husband Chris Rambhal and their four (4) children with keys to their three bedroom, two-bathroom home located in Eden Gardens, Freeport. In addition to the housing allocation, the family had received $20,000 worth of items from a local furniture and appliance company and a pre-paid entertainment television package.
Following the allocation of the unit, the HDC’s Social and Community Services Department maintained contact with Ms. Wattley and her family in an effort to facilitate a seamless transition to home ownership and community living.