Six families have moved out of condemned homes that were built as part of an affordable homes scheme in West Bay, but several families still remain in the dilapidated houses.
Residents were told they needed to find alternate living accommodations because the 30 substandard homes in the Apple Blossom Gardens development were being demolished.
The homes were condemned after Hurricane Ivan in 2004, and residents never received a certificate of occupancy.
Much of area near the houses is run down, with abandoned cars perched on cement blocks around the streets and uncut grass making it difficult for children to play in the park area.
Julio Ramos, general manager of the National Housing Development Trust, said six families had moved out of the development after finding alternative housing.
“Once the houses become vacant, the Trust then undertakes the exercise of demolishing these houses,” he said.
A needs assessment report on residents two months by the Children and Family Services Department ago has not yet been tabled for discussion with the Trust’s board, Mr. Ramos said.
One resident said she had put all her savings into buying her home, only now to face losing her house.
“Purchasing a government affordable home was the biggest mistake I ever made in my life,” said Norma Ebanks, 75. “It took all my little savings, 80 percent of my pension. Now they’re taking the house and leaving me with nothing [of my investments]. That’s what government calls affordable.”
Ms. Ebanks, who had been paying a mortgage for seven years, said three years after she bought her home, she found out that she was entitled to the house but not the land, which the government owns. “If they had told me this when I was buying the house, it would not have made sense to me. If I wanted to sell it, no one would buy it.”
She added, “[It’s] no good crying over spilt milk.”
Another resident, 70-year-old Barbara Green, who leases her home, said, “They want us out the place to knock down the homes … Then find a place for us to live.”
Darcy Bush, 56, said she was not listening to what government had to say after paying her mortgage for 10 years.
“Government sold us a 20-year mortgage and the houses did not even last 10 years …. I want what I paid for or give me back my money and I will be the out of here,” she said.