26 May Review the process for access to charity housing – Phillips
Chairman of the infrastructure and physical development committee of the nation’s Parliament Mikael Phillips wants the process by which the nation’s most vulnerable are selected for Food for the Poor houses reviewed.
For the Committee, the heart of problem is the current restricted selection process that is being applied to the applicants who seek to access the benefit.
No set guidelines are being used by the H.O.P.E. Secretariat that manages the programme on behalf of the Government.
According to Phillips local community representatives are being excluded from the process and as a result, the most needy persons are being denied access to the housing. Moreover, the requirements for proof of tenure are being changed in a manner that many applicants cannot satisfy.
The selection process, while it should properly include churches and other non-governmental organizations, should also utilise the experience and knowledge of the Members of Parliament who have been working with constituents for extended periods and are familiar with the circumstances in communities, Phillips said.
The chairman commends the outstanding contribution of Food for the Poor for their long-standing commitment to vulnerable communities and individuals over many decades.
He said the discussions in Parliament, covering the complaints from some beneficiaries, was meant to signal a constant need for quality controls to be exercised and should not be interpreted as a general disapproval of either the houses or the programme of support for housing being offered by Food for the Poor.