BY COREY CONNELLY
It may be a newly-restructured organisation, but the Housing
Development Corporation (HDC) is already offering Voluntary
Separation of Employment (Vsep) packages to its all of its
1,100 workers and it is expected that the company will be
downsized by 50 per cent.
The recent prospectus of the three-tranche $1.4 billion
bond that will be used to finance house construction states,
With the restructuring of the Authority, the following
is expected to be achieved: The downsizing of the organisation
by 50 per cent.
Housing Minister Dr Keith Rowley, in making the VSEP announcement
yesterday, stressed that employees would not be coerced into
accepting the offer.
We are offering, as part of our approach to public
sector housing and the coming into being of the HDC, a voluntary
separation programme, and I emphasise the word voluntary,
he said during a function to install the members of the HDC
board at its South Quay, Port-of-Spain, office, yesterday.
Nobody will be trampled upon. Nobody will be dragged,
pushed or intimidated. It will be voluntary.
Rowley said the HDCs staff would not be offered anything
less than what other workers in the country were receiving.
In fact, it is an enhanced Vsep we are offering,
The HDC, which replaced the National Housing Authority,
was proclaimed on October 1 to effectively manage the housing
Human resource management expert Noel Garcia, who was the
CEO of the NHA, has been appointed managing director (designate)
of the HDC.
The minister said the HDCs staffers would be given
the opportunity to decide if they want to stay or accept the
I am pretty sure that some people may want to leave
us and at the appropriate time, we will say farewell and thank
you, Rowley said, adding that those who decide to stay
on with the company will do so with the knowledge that we
are moving on to higher heights.
Rowley told his audience, which included NUGFW president
general Robert Giuseppi, that the new structure will require
a bit more muscle, a bit more brainpower of its employees.
It doesnt matter which part you play, it will
be an important part, he said.
Speaking after the simple ceremony, Rowley said about 40
per cent of employees at the NHA had expressed an interest
in accepting a Vsep package.
Preliminary work has shown that 40 to 50 per cent
of the workers were interested at that time. About 40 per
cent might be expected, he told reporters.
The HDC has approximately 1,100 employees.
Earlier, Rowley said the NHA was restructured because it
There are a lot of things that did not go right in
the NHA and one of those things had to do with accountability,
The HDC is not going to function like that. We are
required by law to have the accounts ready in a certain period
The CEO will be held accountable and the Cabinet will
hold the minister accountable and the Parliament will hold
the Cabinet accountable. That is what the HDC means.
Andre Monteil (chairman)
Francis Charles (deputy chairman)
Noel Garcia (managing director)