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The government donated a fully-furnished new home to a family of five on Monday.
The act was described as a display of a caring government’s “heart and soul.” The house, located at Bay Street in the Villa Area, cost $170,000 to construct.
After losing their rental home in a previous fire, Audy Fortuna and her five children received the donated house from the government.
During the presentation of the keys, Prime Minister and Parliamentary Representative Gaston Browne stated that how a nation treats its poorest members demonstrates its greatness.
The prime minister added that the government had to intervene because it recognized that privately owned sectors could not help uplift the “poorest of the poor.” He emphasized that the government should step in and assist where there is an urgent need.
PM Browne reported that the Fortuna family’s rental property and all their belongings were destroyed in a fire. He urged the Cabinet to step in and help the family.
Health and Environment Minister, Sir Molwyn Joseph, noted that families at the lower end of the economic ladder faced two significant challenges: paying their rent and electricity bills.
Sir Molwyn disclosed that under the ministry’s initiative, low-income homeowners would receive solar panels and storage batteries to alleviate some of their electricity costs.
He credited PM Browne as the first prime minister to tackle the problem of housing and urban renewal head-on.
Sir Molwyn added that a housing development program in the Point would spread to other areas such as Grays Green, Jennings, and Bendals. He noted that this program represented the “soul” of a caring government headed by PM Browne.