PHILIPSBURG:— Some eight families who moved into Water Rock residents in Cole Bay are now facing eviction by the St. Maarten Housing Development Foundation (SMHDF). The families who contacted SMN News on Friday evening said they moved in homes at Water Rock after hearing the Prime Minister of St. Maarten on Laser 101 shortly after hurricane Irma saying that people that are homeless could move into empty properties that are owned by government.
The families, mostly residents of Cole Bay area said their homes were destroyed and when they heard what the Prime Minister said they each move into the empty homes that are managed by the SMHDF. They said about two days after they took up residency at the homes, staff members from SMHDF visited them and provided relied supplies such as water and first aid kits. “Two weeks later another team from SMHDF visited the homes and informed us that we should all go over to SMHDF and purchase applications forms and fill them up so that we could legally obtain the homes we are occupying. Since we filled in the forms we have not heard anything from SMHDF.”
However, on Friday staff members of SMHDF went to the families and presented them with a letter informing them that they have until November 10th, 2017 to vacate the homes willingly or face eviction from the homes they are illegally occupying. The families said they find the actions by SMHDF unreasonable and wreckless especially since they were given hope that the homes they are occupying would be rented to them. They further stated that they called SMHDF to find out if the letter they received was authentic because there is no director’s name on the letter and they were told that senior staff at SMHDF does not know of the letter.
The families said they have since met with the President of Water Rock Residences and they intend to take SMHDF to court since they were given hope by the foundation that will get the homes to rent.
Source: St. Martin News Network http://www.smn-news.com/st-maarten-st-martin-news/27556-families-of-water-rock-faces-eviction-from-smhdf.html