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What lies beneath

Thursday, May 10, 2018

We like to think of ourselves as a happy-go-lucky people, always ready for a lime and a good time, people who can take picong and appreciate a good joke. That is just a facade. Not too far beneath that surface of revelry and fun, intolerance and rage simmer, likely to erupt at the slightest provocation. It manifests in reckless driving and road rage, domestic abuse and a murder rate that has been spinning out of control for more than a decade.

The body count has been piling up at a worrying rate over the last few days, among the latest victims promising young footballer Noah Simmons, gunned down on his 16th birthday for talking to a girl. That such senseless killings have become the norm rather than the exception speaks volumes about the crisis into which this nation has descended and remains stuck.

No doubt this latest wave of bloodshed will give rise to the discussions about crime and policing which have so far been useless since violence remains stubbornly high across T&T.

However, this is a problem that requires more than law enforcement. Other interventions at the family and community levels are needed to address deep-seated dysfunctions. Otherwise, we will continue to battered by one violent eruption after another.

The problem with HDC allocations

There are thousands of people across T&T who are hoping and praying that finally, they will realise their dream of homeownership. Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley’s announcement of a new housing thrust brings renewed hope to those people who have been languishing for years on the Housing Development Corporation’s (HDC) waiting list.

The problem is there is lack of transparency and fairness in the allocation of public housing. The biggest problem is that hundreds of people who know their way around the system and are allocated houses and apartments they don’t really need, naturally turn around and sublet these units in contravention of HDC rules. Meanwhile, there are hundreds of HDC applicants genuinely in need of shelter, who qualify for rental or mortgage accommodations, who have been waiting for years, even decades, to be allocated a housing unit.

This time around, we hope the HDC does proper background checks to ensure housing is provided to those who have been waiting for so long.

Well done Marc

Congratulations to T&T sprinter Marc Burns, who has graduated from Auburn University in Alabama, United States, with a Bachelors Degree in Exercise Science. His excellence on and off the track is an inspiration to aspiring athletes.


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