Dominica’s Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit has announced what he described as a “massive housing intervention” for the south-eastern section of the island.
Communities set to benefit include the Kalinago Territory, Castle Bruce, Grand Fond, Morne Jaune, Riviere Cyrique, Delice and La Plaine.
According to Skerrit, about 400 apartment units will be built “in the first instance”.
“These were the communities that were hardest hit and we have decided to bring sharp focus to the housing challenges of the people there,” he said on state-owned DBS Radio on Wednesday.
He added that the government has been able to identify both public and private lands in the communities for the construction of the apartments and the firm that will be building them will be finalising contracts “in the next week or so.”
“We will be having a meeting with the Kalinago Council, along with the Kalinago Chief tomorrow to seek to get their OK and no objections to the available land in the Kalinago Territory, as you know because of the land situation there,” he said.
He remarked that finding land in Morne Jaune/Riviere Cyrique had been difficult but small lots were found in Riviere Cyrique where some apartments will be constructed. He said the search continues for more lots.
The prime minister stated that the ground floor of the apartment building will also double as hurricane shelters.
“We will have an entire ground floor with the appropriate kitchen and washroom and the other amenities,” he stated.
“In the event that residents have to find safety, they could certainly use those hurricane shelters that would take into consideration all of the elements of building back better and building back with greater resilience.”