The family is sitting in their home which they bought in the boom years from 1998 to 2007. The expansion of the Bahamian economy, allowed the workers who took jobs at Atlantis to buy new homes. They got two mortgages. Many could not make the down payment requirements. The banks offered them a loan for the down payment and a loan for the rest of the principal.
The bottom fell out of the economy in 2008, and the mortgages went south. So fast forward today, after limping along using their savings and negotiating with the bank, the family of four is sitting in their living room and looking at the man representing the PLP and explain their story. The mortgage is in default and they are about to get thrown out of their home.
The father has retired from the prison and did not get his gratuity. His pension is not enough to survive off month to month. His wife just got laid off from a housekeeping job she has had with a German couple in Lyford Cay and replaced by a German and two Filipinos, even though she says the people treated her nicely. They said they were downsizing and they brought in their servants from Germany. But she adds: “I am without a job and the foreigners are working.”
The daughter is a student at the College of the Bahamas. She has four BGCSEs all C grades and above but pretty soon she will have to drop out because she has no money to continue the course. She is looking to the MP for a government job. What would she like to do? Anything. Problem is anything is not a job.
The son says he wants to know if the MP knows of any investors that can invest in his business. He needs 250,000 dollars. He doesn’t look like someone who can handle that kind of money for what he says is a management business. He wants to be pointed in the right direction. He has a strange vacant stare in his eye. As the MP leaves the House, the mother comes out and says: “Don’t mind that boy, his head isn’t good”. He is a sometime Sandilands patient.
There is another son. He is not home. But at the start of the term, he had been given a contract to keep the park in the area clean. That went south because he had to serve a multi-year sentence in jail. The boy was just released from jail last month. He is out on the street hustling and comes in only to sleep at night. The mother thinks he may have changed his ways in prison.
O yes, what else, the people from NEMA and Urban Renewal have been by their house four times assessing the damage from the hurricane. The rainy season is coming. The roof is leaking. The family has no money. After four assessments, people wandering all over their home, asking intrusive questions, there is no repair to the roof.
Well Mr. PLP MP? We must win.
It’s great to joust with silly Hubert Minnis and his crowd from the FNM. It’s great to compete for headlines with Andre Rollins, Rodney Moncur and Loretta Butler Turner. But you know it’s not the noise in the market that counts, it’s the price of the fish. Talk is cheap. It’s money that buys land.
We urge the PLP to get real. It’s the poor and dispossessed that we serve.
Number of hits for the week ending Saturday 25 February 2017 up to midnight: 182,951;
Number of hits for the month of February up to Saturday 25 February 2017 up to midnight: 680,545;
Number of hits for the year 2017 up to Saturday 25 February 2017 up to midnight: 1,651,010.