PHILIPSBURG:--- Minister of Public Housing, Environment, Spatial Planning and Infrastructure (Ministry of VROMI) Hon. Maurice Lake is busy addressing the concerns of the FOGA residents after 23 persons living in the area brought to his attention issues of concern and their living conditions.
Minister Lake received a letter dated from the residents of the Sucker Garden area who have been living in the emergency homes for more than 15-years.
The Minister after receiving the July 31, 2013 dated letter on August 2 he and some members of his Cabinet did a walk-through the FOGA neighborhood on Tuesday and spoke with many residents in order to see the quality of the living conditions in and around the area.
"The residents wrote a letter to the former Minister of VROMI William Marlin seeking his assistance with respect to their concerns in a letter of April 9, 2013. The Minister had two months to speak with the residents and they never heard anything from him. My approach is getting back to basics and the quality of life of our people. These are human beings and their needs should be addressed by first meeting with them and listening to their concerns and problems," Minister Maurice Lake said on Thursday.
Some of the issues that the residents spoke about with the Minister were that they had received a request for the removal of structures that tenants of the homes built over the years; the removal of fruit trees that they planted in the back of their yards; and an answer with respect to a second doorway exit for the homes. The removal of structures etc. request was in connection with the construction of infrastructure.
Minister Lake will discuss the challenges of the residents with the relevant departments within Ministry VROMI, the St. Maarten Housing Development Foundation, and BHOTA.
"I believe we need more communication. It's not right to leave people hanging. They deserve answers. I will meet with the other relevant stakeholders who have a responsibility towards the tenants, but everybody must live up to their responsibilities in the end," Minister Maurice Lake concluded.