letter

I have read with interest worldwide that it’s a buyers market with regard to housing prices.

However, this does not obtain in Trinidad and Tobago, as the prices for homes are not dropping to the extent where the average person can afford one.

The average cost of a three-bedroom home is $1.2 million, and if we are in an economic recession this price should be drastically reduced. I am seeing some reductions, but not to the extent where the average person like, me can, afford it.

Rent-to-own options are few and far between, with down-payments ranging from $200,000 to $300,000. I commend the few real estate agents who offer this option, but realistically one has to work for over $20,000 to afford this.

I wish to thank Home Construc­tion Ltd, as it provided quality and reasonably priced homes in the 1980s/’90s to lower- and middle-class income-earners. I am sure if this was not done, the HDC application waiting list would have been longer!

There are hundreds of thousands of citizens who are longing for quality, reasonably-priced homes and have given up waiting on the HDC. My fear is that in T&T, maximum profit is the motive and thus the majority may not own a home in this lifetime.

There is the need for a developer like the HCL that can cater for citizens in the $8,000-to-$15,000-per-month category. We need more homes in the $500,000 to $900,000 price range. There are too many people who cannot afford the $1 million-plus homes currently available.

I understand we live in a capitalist economy where demand and supply determine the market prices. In T&T, the housing market does not follow the economic law of demand— but of supply, where high-priced houses dominate the industry.

In other developed countries, the law of demand prevails, where buyers demand less of a costly home. This, in turn, leads to a price reduction of homes, which makes it more affordable to the average worker.

I long for the day when the rent-to-own home options are widely accessible. It may not be the perfect solution, but it is a small step for many citizens who cannot afford a home.

Dionne Joseph

Arouca

RECOMMENDED FOR YOU

Official recognition of the historical importance of the location where the Treasury Building now stands is long overdue. As the place that marks the spot where British Governor Sir George Fitzgerald Hill publicly read out the Proclamation of Emancipation on August 1, 1834, the site is of immeasurable significance to the history of Trinidad and Tobago.

WE celebrated Emancipation Day on August 1, but to my mind, we have not yet fully grasped the broader concept of freedom. In other words we have not, through our education system, formulated a critical pedagogy across our curricula; to foster a knowledge of self, to move beyond who we are, to transform the what- and how, to break with debilitating norms and to name our world. Inherent in all of this is the development of critical thinking skills in the learner and the learning culture.

AS a civic-minded citizen, one piece of legislation I would like to see passed in the Parliament is one that regulates the conduct of political parties and their supporters during an election.

The insistence of the ruling party to hold the general election on August 10 in the midst of a new or second phase of the Covid-19 pandemic leaves many raised eyebrows and even more questions. Since many restrictions or “protocols” have been put in place to prevent the spread of the virus or “flatten the curve” of infections, two pertinent issues must be questioned here

IN the early 1970s, the Mighty Composer (Fred Mitchell) composed and sang a calypso entitled “Black Fallacy” in which he showed that many persons today and “from since in the Beginning” continue to use the word “black with a degrading twist,” to denote racism, prejudice and bigotry in their dealings with Africans and African descendants.

This Emancipation Day has brought to mind the fact that there are two types of Afro-Trinidadians. The ones who keep holding on to the history of slavery and keep hoping to receive reparations from England, Spain, France and Holland without giving thought to the fact that the slave trade would never have happened if Africans did not offer their own people for sale.