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Minister of Minister of National Mobilization, Social Development, Family, Gender Affairs, Youth, Housing and Informal Human Settlement, Orando Brewster.
Minister of Minister of National Mobilization, Social Development, Family, Gender Affairs, Youth, Housing and Informal Human Settlement, Orando Brewster.
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Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves said he is mulling over relieving Central Leeward MP Orando Brewster of the housing ministry as the government ratchets up his housing repair programme.

Gonsalves said on NBC Radio that he put Brewster “in the deep end with two significant ministries”, National Mobilisation and Social Development, after he was elected MP in 2020.

Brewster is also the minister of family, gender affairs, youth and informal human settlement.

Gonsalves said the National Mobilisation Ministry “is the heart of the government.

“The Ministry of Finance, metaphorically, may be the head of the government to use the organs of the body.”

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The prime minister said the government had a structured housing programme but after La Soufriere erupted in April 2021, “there is an entirely new ballgame in housing and what is happening there”.

The prime minister said the initial assessment after the eruption concluded that over 600 houses were affected. 

Gonsalves said he told the assessors that they were joking and that they had looked at the houses when they were closed up as the occupants were in shelters.

He said that when the assessment was done again, the number was about 1,400 and he told them the number would rise to about 2,000.

Gonsalves said he knows from experience in 1979, from reading the history, and his personal experience at his mother’s house in Colonarie in 1979 and at his house in Gorse in 2021.

“Immediately, you may change three or four sheets of galvanise … [where you might have seen a leak] because of the damage done by the ash and the pebbles falling on the roof. But that is the first assessment…” the prime minister said.

“But we have a lot of money,” he said, adding that it includes a bill that is to be debated in Parliament today (Thursday) with the second tranche of a loan from the Saudi Fund, which Minister of Finance Camillo Gonsalves signed in Washington last month.

“And we have to beef up HLDC (Housing and Land Development Corporation) in terms of this project implementation and to strengthen housing itself for the project,” he said.

“And we may well have to separate the housing portfolio from national mobilisation. I am contemplating some reorganisation and you will hear more about that,” Gonsalves said.

“And, I indicate to my Cabinet colleagues that I am contemplating these matters. I haven’t yet informed them of my conclusions but I am reflecting on how to adjust different things. But there is a big programme.”

4 replies on “PM mulls stripping Brewster of housing portfolio”

  1. It amazes me how this government camouflages the cost of operations through the multiplication of Ministries –the Minister gets a salary for each ministry he represents. We have 15 constituencies, why don’t we consolidate the ministries so that each elected minister represent only one ministry? No wonder some Minister of government seek to be in power for life–feeding at the trough of the treasury is so sweet.

  2. Ralph, just say elections are approaching and you’d rather be in charge of the “vote buying” portfolio of housing, plain and simple. Enough with your foolish shenanigans old man!

  3. Take warning says:

    me just can’t fathom how some people call dem selfs Christians, pastors and ah associate with and among evil , de devil, rebels, accused rappers , . and dem who bin wicked at ten years, can anyone help me ?
    makes one wonder. Shame on all ar yo. It is written , those that go down to hell will be numberless as the sand on the sea shore.
    .

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