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Mum won’t be moved

Maria Bradshaw

Mum won’t be moved

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A 21-year-old woman has illegally taken up residence at an unoccupied Government unit in Barbarees Hill, St Michael.
Keisha Brathwaite, who is seven months’ pregnant and has two sons, has refused to vacate the unit, even though several National Housing Corporation (NHC) officials have asked her to leave and warned her about intended prosecution.
Brathwaite said she was forced to go into the unit with her two boys, three and four years old, last Friday night after her former boyfriend threw her out of his house.
“He beat me and cuff me in my belly, and threw all of my things outside.
I was in pain and I had nowhere else to go. It was raining and I?had my two children. So I went to the unit, pulled the door and it opened.”
The woman said the next day she moved in a bed and some utensils and called the police to let them know what she had done.
“I?told them that I did it for my children,” she cried.
On Monday at 6 a.m. Brathwaite also went to the NHC’s office at Country Road, St Michael, and waited to speak to Minister of Housing Michael Lashley.
“I?did not see Mr Lashley, but I saw Miss Lanette Napoleon [general manager] and I told her that I?knew I was wrong to go into the unit, but I had nowhere else to go. Miss Napoleon told me that what I did was illegal and I would have to leave because the units are assigned to people.”
But Brathwaite, who has since changed the lock on the unit, because according to her, the original lock was rusty and not working,  said although she was scared she did not intend to leave.
“I ain’t got nowhere to go,” she stated.
Brathwaite admitted that NHC?officials visited her on Monday and yesterday, asking her to vacate the premises or face the consequences. But she explained that she was one of the residents at Chapman Lane, St Michael, not included in Government’s relocation to Barbarees Hill.
“All I want is a place for me and my children. When I start to work I will be able to pay the rent,” she stated.
The MIDWEEK?NATION?was unable to reach Minister Lashley yesterday.