HDC: Delinquent tenants settling outstanding balances

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

Peter Burnett packs his family’s belongings on a truck, after they were evicted from their Housing Development Corporation Cyprus Hill, San Fernando, home on April 30. – Photo by Angelo Marcelle

DELINQUENT Housing Development Corporation (HDC) tenants have been settling their outstanding balances.

The HDC, in a news release on May 3, said errant tenants have visited the corporation’s offices to settle outstanding balances, establish payment plans, and communicate challenges with maintaining their monthly instalments.

This follows the resumption of its revenue collection drive, and the eviction of tenants who were in arrears.

The HDC said while it commends those who have settled their debts it would like to encourage others to do the same.

It stated, “While millions of dollars are still owed to the corporation, monies received will be used to construct houses across the country as the demand for government-subsidised housing increases. As a result, the HDC must continue to recoup funds to maintain the operations of the organisation.”

As of May 3, 18 tenants have been evicted, it said.

The news release said that in some cases, those evicted have made payments towards their account and have agreed to settle their arrears.

The HDC said it is hopeful that the tenants will honour their commitments to the corporation.

Evictions will continue in Chaconia Crescent Housing Development, Diego Martin; Cypress Hills Housing Development, Union Hall, San Fernando; Hilltop Villas Housing Development, Malick; Real Spring Housing Development, Valsayn and Vieux Fort, St James, it said.

It added, “Other developments have been identified and evictions will begin at those locations soon.”

Meanwhile, the HDC is reminding the public that placement for government-subsidised housing is done by a random-selection draw that is broadcast live.

Consequently, it said, those claiming to offer homes or expedite housing applications, in exchange for cash, are fraudsters who choose to prey on the most vulnerable in society.

The warning comes following a recent sting operation, that led to the arrest of three men on April 30 for attempting to defraud the HDC and its contractors.

The HDC said it will not tolerate anyone exploiting its contractors or clients.

It said, “If someone offers a house in exchange for any monetary gain, please contact the HDC to verify the validity of the proposal.”

The HDC said that key members of its executive team are being targeted by fraudsters.

“Many have had their signatures forged and their images used to create fake profiles in WhatsApp messenger with promises of HDC contracts and houses for their contacts. Anyone caught impersonating an HDC official will be handed over to the Trinidad and Tobago Police Service,” it said.

The HDC is pleading with the public to do their part to “prevent the rise of this vicious scheme.”

“Persons should not conduct financial transactions in locations other than HDC buildings,” it warned.

It said all business deals initiated by the HDC are completed at its head office at 44-46 South Quay, Port of Spain; its South Office at 2 Mc Gillivary Street, San Fernando and its Maloney Office at Jacana Avenue, Maloney Gardens, D’Abadie.