As many like myself who breathe a sigh of relief that our beloved Errol Fabien’s home and business may have been saved by the generosity of our citizens, I have wondered for a long while, as I do now, how many others have been met with such faith?
How many others have been fortunate to have been bailed out? How many others are in the trauma of losing their homes; their businesses? All that they have worked towards to build the security of their family’s safe haven to be taken from them? Now is the time for banks and financial institutions to not seek to obtain more than $1 as their profit at the end of the year. Now is a very difficult time which we have never seen before nor had we anticipated, and as such requires a very different approach. It cannot be business as usual.
Today, I make a call to the Government of Trinidad and Tobago that we must put in place a mechanism to secure the homes and, in some instances, the businesses of our citizens who, through no fault of their own, are now in jeopar dy because of the economic decay of the last several years, and hit by the double whammy of the Covid-19 horror.
In appropriate cases, the Trinidad and Tobago Mortgage Finance Company Ltd (TTMF), or another institution created by our Government, should take over those mortgages or loans to allow our citizens time to breathe, a time to hope and a time to recuperate until, hopefully, things get better.
To do so is not a favour to them alone because if we should allow homes and businesses to fall to mortgage claims and those properties are put up for sale-and unless, as many suspect, there are already prepared buyerswell, what may happen is that there may be a deflation of the real estate market, with many homes being left to be vandalised and become an eyesore. The broken window will become a broken economy.
So it is really about selfsurvival and having a different long-term approach. As my father always said, you cannot kill the goose that lays the golden egg. Eat little, live long.
Therefore, it is upon us all to get through this togethernot just the citizens but the commercial banks, financial institutions and our Government, working together to secure our future.