During the long-standing and planned relocation of the occupants of Lyndhurst Apartments, George Town, at no time has anyone been evicted, left homeless or without suitable accommodations.
Following ongoing discussions with its clients, in the best interest of their health and overall comfort, the Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) gave initial notice to authorised residents in 2016.
Since then notification was reissued to remaining occupants in November 2018 and early 2019.
DCFS, the Needs Assessment Unit (NAU) and the Ministry of Community Affairs (MoCA) continue to offer support and assistance in finding clients alternative accommodation despite resistance to the relocation by several of the remaining occupants.
Throughout this necessarily sensitive and protracted process, consultation with clients has been ongoing and open, in keeping with the department’s duty of care. In doing so, continuous and concerted attempts have been made to find and secure suitable accommodation for authorised occupants.
Two units have subsequently been vacated since the beginning of this process, leaving those who were reluctant to vacate in place, despite the department’s best efforts to rehouse them.
The DCFS, the NAU and the Ministry remain committed to resolving the urgent housing needs of the remaining occupants, including supporting them in the relocation by seeking accommodation and paying the rent.
Clients received a final notice for 30th November 2019. This timing was also to ensure that clients could be settled in a new and more suitable home in time for Christmas.
On Friday, 13 December, DCFS undertook to facilitate in the agreed relocation of two occupants to a residential facility more tailored to their specific needs. The aforementioned have longstanding medical issues.
Currently, one of these former occupants has successfully been placed in the chosen caring facility and is comfortably settled, while another former occupant has advised they have since secured permanent housing. The departments continue to work with individuals to support their transition into alternative accommodations.
“The lack of available properties and landlords who are willing to accept payments from the NAU is problematic,” said Premier Alden McLaughlin.
“With the remaining clients, we are happily nearing completion of our shared goal to have them all comfortably housed. I want to thank our teams for their hard work and in pulling out all the stops to achieve this for them. We continue to urge landlords with available rental properties to contact the NAU soon as possible.”
“The departments remain committed to putting the welfare of their clients first. To this end we must respect client privacy at all times to ensure that their confidentiality, enshrined by best practice and the law, is protected,” he concluded.