One mother, who preferred to remain unnamed, moved into affordable housing in West Bay, with her three children (8, 9 and 15) in late 2012. In her case, she says, the move may not have left them better off financially, but they are definitely enjoying improved living conditions and a greater sense of safety and freedom.
Mother and children previously lived in central George Town, on her grandmother’s land. Although this meant she only had to pay utilities, she says conditions were cramped and she did not feel safe in the area.
“I didn’t like the area. There’s too much drugs, then there were shootings. Every day there was people swearing. The kids down there, they’re out of control. I was so glad when I heard we got that affordable housing.
“I originally applied [for affordable housing] four or five years ago,” said the mother of three. “I never heard nothing then and I didn’t pursue it again until October last year.”
She now pays $800 per month in rent, in addition to utility bills, so her monthly outgoings are actually more than before but this is more than made up for, in her opinion, by the improvement in their quality of life since moving into their new home.
“I don’t hear no fighting, no robbing, no cussing now,” she says. “We got a three bedroom, two bathroom house, with kitchen and living room. We’ve got a lot of space. Lots of space inside and lots of space outside.”
The complex is peaceful and the family have privacy and a yard of their own.
“My children needed somewhere where they could run up and down. They had no freedom in George Town. Since we moved they are so much happier and more alive. They are extra happy,” she says.