Couple living in car get apartment for a month

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

FILE PHOTO: Vishwanath Naipaul and his common in law wife Chanelle Naipaul. –

VISHWANATH Naipaul and his common-law wife Chanelle have settled into their temporary apartment, after living in their car for almost a month.

Many people, including officials from the Housing Development Corporation (HDC) and the Ministry of Social Development and Family Services, contacted the couple after Newsday published their story on November 4.

Less than 24 hours later, some good samaritans offered help.

The couple, from St Helena, were evicted from their rented apartment on October 20 after Naipaul lost his job as a driver. They were sleeping on the back seat of their car, with plastic garbage bags of their belongings packed on the front seats.

In an update on Wednesday, Naipaul told Newsday someone had offered them a small apartment in Freeport, rent-free for a month.

He said the HDC assessed their situation but almost two weeks later, they are still eagerly awaiting an update on the status of their application.

He said they have been receiving fewer calls from people offering help in the past week.

Naipaul is expected to start a new job next week and until then the couple will be using money donated to them to cover food and other basic necessities.

“Everything stopped more or less. People have more offered places to stay.”

He has little hope the HDC will call soon, so he’s shifted his focus and energy to rebuilding their home at Santa Monica Road, El Carmen Village, St Helena, which they lost in a fire in April last year.

“What I was really looking for, if anyone else wants to help, is building material like blocks, cement, steel, gravel…

“I want to still like everyone who helped. I’m asking now for stuff to rebuild the foundation. And whoever can support financially, in whatever way they can we would be grateful.”

Anyone wishing to help Naipaul and his partner may contact him at 306 8249 or send funds to First Citizen Bank account 2267275.