UP PARTY: WHERE ARE THE 1,000 HOMES? 

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Kelron Bellot

 

Dear Editor,

In a country where affordable housing is a pressing issue, the failure to deliver on such a crucial commitment demands scrutiny and explanation. There is a necessity to underscore the actuality of the unfulfilled promise of 1,000 homes made by the United Peoples Party (UP) in the 2019 election season.

The reality is stark: not a single home has been built despite the UP Party’s unequivocal pledge. The lack of significant updates on this promise raises questions about the sincerity and feasibility of the proposed plan. Were these promised homes even brought to parliament for discussion, was there any discussion held with the Minister of Public Housing or was it merely a political maneuver to secure votes?

The formation of a coalition government with the National Alliance, which won the majority of seats, adds complexity to the situation. While there may be claims that the coalition hindered the plans, the public must question the true compatibility of the parties’ visions for the country. A coalition government should ideally unite parties with similar goals, but in this case, the promised housing project did not receive the attention it deserved.

Despite claims of over 500 homes being repaired; not built, during their tenure, the lack of progress on the promised 1,000 homes remains a glaring issue. The rationale behind this failure requires clarification. Did the coalition partners not find it necessary to address the housing crisis? Were discussions held, and if so, why did they not result in tangible action?

The geographical constraints of Sint Maarten, with major businesses occupying substantial land areas, pose challenges to large-scale housing projects. However, the government’s responsibility is to strategically allocate resources and prioritize public welfare. The approval of building permits in areas where public housing could have been a priority demonstrates a lapse in planning and evaluation.

Financial constraints are often cited as a barrier to fulfilling promises, but citizens deserve transparency about the government’s fiscal decisions. If the cost of building 1,000 homes is deemed unattainable without additional support, it raises questions about the government’s ability to manage finances effectively.

In light of these concerns, there is a crucial need for a proper explanation from the UP Party and to a larger extent the government. The public deserves to know why this promising initiative was not carried through, and what steps are being taken to address the housing crisis. Political parties, especially during election campaigns, must refrain from making extravagant promises without a realistic implementation plan.

As the upcoming election approaches, it is imperative that voters critically evaluate previous manifesto promises that have yet to be fulfilled. Our people cannot afford to be swayed by empty rhetoric; instead, we should demand accountability and tangible solutions from our elected representatives.

Kelron Bellot