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First transit homes open at Barbarons |29 July 2019

First transit homes open at Barbarons

President Faure and Minister Charlette unveil the plaque to inaugurate the Barbarons Transit Homes

  • 14 families receive keys to temporary houses


Fourteen families whose permanent houses are either in the process of being repaired or rebuilt after being destroyed by fire or other disasters, have received the keys to a temporary dwelling place in the newly opened Barbarons Transit Homes.

Other families will also join the group and will receive their keys in the coming days.

Situated just behind the Barbarons SPTC bus depot, the 42 houses – 16 of which are of three bedrooms, 18 two bedrooms and eight one bedroom – were officially opened on Saturday afternoon by President Danny Faure and the Minister responsible for land use and housing Pamela Charlette.

This was in the presence of the Minister for Family Affairs Mitcy Larue, key officials from related ministries and agencies, district leaders as well as the families among other guests.

The project, which has cost the government R21.2 million, was initiated by the Ministry of Habitat, Infrastructure and Land Transport to provide temporary shelter to families in desperate situations for reasons already mentioned as they try to piece their lives together and start afresh.

This is because over the years, in the event of fires and natural disasters, the ministry used any available housing options in its pool to assist families in need, and consequently in the process depriving housing applicants of an opportunity to be assisted with a permanent housing solution until the affected house is re-built. Recognising the need to provide a better framework to cater for those cases, the project was initiated and construction on the 42 housing units started at the beginning of last year.

As the transit homes, the first of its kind, aim to bring temporary housing solutions to families in need, it is therefore important that some of the houses remain empty at all times in case of any eventualities.

The families’ length of stay will not be more than one year and they will pay a monthly rent depending on the size of their house – R1,000 for a one bedroom, R1,500 for 2 bedrooms and R2,000 for 3 bedrooms.

Addressing everyone present to witness the event, Minister Charlette said before unveiling the plaque together with President Danny Faure to open the homes, that in the past when disasters struck our families often had to be housed in guest houses or privately rented houses.

She added that often this was for long periods because of unavailability of social houses and the government had to shoulder these exorbitant costs.

“In 2017, 25 cases of house fires and other disasters were reported, 21 in 2018 and up to now this year 8 cases have been recorded. Among the cases there were extended families which made it more difficult to rehouse them,” said Minister Charlette.

She further reminded relatives who have the means to also help out as it is not the responsibility of the government alone to step in in such cases.

But the minister stressed that it is the objective of the government to build similar transit homes in other regions of Mahé where land is available.

Minister Charlette thanked the SPTC for making available part of its property for the project.

Following the blessing of the facilities by the parish priest, President Faure, Minister Charlette and other guests toured the different houses, inspected the premises and talked to the new inhabitants. The houses all have built-in wooden wardrobes.

Evelina Antha, chief executive of the Property Management Company (PMC) which will be responsible for the maintenance and proper management of the homes and its premises, said in order to truly serve its intended purpose, at all times six houses will be left empty for any eventualities and like is the case on other housing estates, families have to abide by all regulations as per their contract agreement.

As these are temporary homes, there are some other conditions that the tenants have to follow and these include; not altering the structure of the house nor erect any building or structure whether temporary or permanent on the estate, not making any internal or external alteration to the house like putting in place tiles and burglars’ bars, the house should be used solely as residence for members of the family approved upon allocation and any damage to facilities in the house upon inspection before they leave will be their responsibility to pay.

The estate will have 24-hour security protection and movement of individuals not living there will be restricted to between 8am and 6pm.

For his part the chief executive of the Public Utilities Corporation (PUC) Philip Morin said the corporation has availed of the opportunity to publicise the democratisation of the solar PV which is bringing solar energy option to those families who cannot afford to install solar systems on their rooftops.

“With the installations that we have made it will help the families to mitigate the impact of their electricity bills. We have installed a three kilowatt unit on the three-bedroom houses, two-bedroom ones will have a two-kilowatt unit while a one-bedroom will have a one-kilowatt unit,” said Mr Morin.

He added that the PUC will also be installing PVs and in those locations where it cannot do so like on low cost houses the corporation will install a one megawatt unit on Ile de Romainville where productions will be allocated to those houses that are eligible.








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