NHT responds to Longville Park concerns
THE EDITOR, Sir:
Following on The Gleaner's report on Monday, May 18, 2015, headlined 'Longville Park Phase III residents cry foul', we write to provide information regarding the development and outline the approaches being taken by the National Housing Trust (NHT) to address the issues about which residents are reported to have complained.
Longville Park Phase III consists of 918 housing solutions, including 634 houses. The development has areas earmarked for: recreational and social activities (a community centre and multi-purpose hard courts are under construction); public services such as health, fire and security; commercial and light industrial functions.
As with all its schemes, the NHT maintains a significant presence in Longville, working with the residents in developing the community. In addition, the NHT continues to manage the correction of defects in respect of the units, the maintenance of the physical infrastructure pending its handover to the relevant agencies, and the construction of the recreational and social infrastructure in accordance with the NHT's plan.
In terms of the specific areas highlighted in the report, please note the following:
1. Cracks and leaks in buildings
The NHT accepts liability to repair all construction defects, including cracks and leaks, that are reported to us within six months of purchase. Despite this cut-off period, the Trust has continued to assess and remedy complaints and a crew is maintained on site for this purpose. Complaints are assessed and construction defects corrected expeditiously, except in cases where access to units is a challenge because of the unavailability of the owners.
To date, all cracks brought to our attention have been on the surface of the structures, do not affect the structural integrity of the buildings, and can be easily remedied. This has been verified by certified engineers who inspected a sample of buildings on our request.
2. Sewerage disposal
The NHT acknowledges that residents have experienced some discomfort from the sewerage facility. Much of this problem has arisen because the facility is not operating at an optimal capacity. Based on the increasing occupancy of the scheme, however, we are estimating that the issue will be remedied by July or August 2015, by which time the system will be operating at about 85 per cent of capacity. We apologise for the inconvenience and will seek to implement measures to mitigate the issue in the interim.
3. Quality of windows
The windows about which residents are reported to have complained were manufactured and installed by a reputable local supplier and meet standards laid down by the American Architectural Manufacturers Association and the Canadian Manufacturers Association. Similar windows can be found in several private developments across the island.
4. Police station
In drafting plans for the development, the NHT made provision for construction of a police station that can accommodate up to 50 officers. Very shortly, the NHT will be placing before the National Contracts Committee our recommendation for the award of a contract to build the station and related infrastructure. Once the recommendation is supported, we will seek Cabinet approval, after which work will begin.
The NHT is always available to the residents of Longville Park through its Clarendon branch office and its assigned social development officer, and invites them, individually or collectively, to use these avenues to seek remedies for any issues they may have.
Senior General Manager, Construction and Development, NHT