The Political Leader of the United Progressive Party (UPP) is advocating for a different approach to housing development in Antigua and Barbuda.
According to Harold Lovell, what exists now is an unfair policy that governs the establishment of infrastructure and access to pipe-borne water on private lands.
At present, persons who build on private lands where there is no infrastructure – such as light poles – have to pay thousands of dollars to the Antigua Public Utilities Authority (APUA) to erect posts and run electricity to the area.
The situation is the same if there are no public water lines and pipes have to be laid by the Government’s utility company.
Residents often complain about the cost and, in many cases, opt not to access the APUA service – but purchase water from private companies, instead.
Going forward, Lovell says, it is critical that housing developments include infrastructure, and a UPP Administration would make sure of this.
Lovell adds that there must be a proper land-use policy in place, and Government and developers must work together to ensure that basic infrastructure is in place before home-owners move into their properties.
He notes that investors should not undertake to construct a housing development without first having a clear plan on how persons purchasing the homes will access the requisite infrastructure and services.
Poor planning, or the absence of planning, has been a major factor in the issues encountered by home-owners, the Political Leader says.