Living in Shambles : Disaster waiting to happen

April 04, 2017
Everton demonstrates how he tiptoes around his kitchen.
The rotting floor paints an ugly picture of Everton's living situation.
Everton lifts his curtain to show his zinc window.
Everton wants help to improve his living condition.

The housing condition for Rose Town, Kingston, resident Everton Martin is a disaster waiting to happen. Although he sits high and looks low from a high-rise old structure, it's a life and death situation.

So dreadful is the location situated at 18 Harris Road, our news team had to tip toe on the pitch patched second floor when he showed us around.

Tarpaulins and zinc are in place to temporarily safeguard water from entering his room, which has only a bed because any additional furniture would be too heavy for the rotting board floor.

To make matters worse, there are no bathroom amenities on the building.

"See it deh, zinc a di window enuh," Martin said as he moved his curtain.

Martin, a mason, told our news team that he gets seasonal work.

He told THE STAR, "I mostly work outside when mi get the work. Mi nuh really work inna the community."

The money he makes from his seasonal work is the source of income and help to patch the floor of his room.

"When mi deh pon di site dem mi get board and repair the floor. The kitchen, a all a we use it. We just take we time and walk up here. The place stay a way, and we nuh have no money fi fix it," he said.

Martin said he is seeking assistance because he can look through the floor and see downstairs, while the cracks in the building are an unwanted source of light.

"If we could get help to put in some column and support it. No money nah come, so we just put in the board dem temporarily," he said.

Martin also explained that the building wasn't always in the deplorable state, but the building was almost destroyed by a fire some years ago.

"Somebody was around there, and dem light destroyer and it burn up the whole a deh so. Is a one-way structure enuh, so if fire, we haffi tek it through window. Me always have a drum a reserve water cause we tink bout dem think deh," he said.

According to Martin, there is no representation for their elected officials who he believes should be providing more assistance for the people living there.

"We nuh have no representative round here enuh, so we haffi do things on our own. Mi nuh like board house enuh, but you see because we nuh have no choice, we haffi jus gwaan bear it. A politics run things enuh, you haffi push up inna it. Is a PNP man run things and dung ya so a labourite, so dung ya so nah get nothing," he said. "

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