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Protect our abandoned assets (Final part)


Protect our abandoned assets (Final part)

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SOME PEOPLE WILL ARGUE that many of Barbados’ abandoned properties may be the subject of litigation, sibling quarrels or divorce proceedings. Even if one concedes that, it is important to note that many of them represent sheer abandonment by a younger generation which is determined to move away from a once lively family home in search of their modern empire. The quest for independence is a fair one but does it need to reject the values of earlier generations?

Others may suggest that relocating to a smaller home or sending our elderly to senior citizens homes are not aspects of our culture but it is deeply entrenched in the advanced society of England. It is not economically progressive to ignore the many unhappy sights of decaying buildings.

They represent investment value which, with a change in cultural mindset, could easily be converted into income for retirement, for long term care and the enhancement of quality of life.

In addition, the selling of these properties at reasonable prices puts money into circulation and will give first time home seekers the opportunity to own respectable properties.

To do otherwise ignores the full investment potential of these buildings and leaves them exposed not just to the elements but also to rodents and, of course, vagrants.

I am not suggesting that we ignore the homeless – we in fact need to care for them. However, we don’t want vagrants to simply turn up and take occupancy from a dizzying collection of abandoned buildings – it is not the recommended method to inherit investments.

Such an undesirable practice, though tempting in times of recession, will reduce the importance of hard work and undermine the stabilising forces of society.

Let us put these wasting properties to good financial use for their elderly owners. It will require changes in how the prices of properties are negotiated and in how we share responsibilities in the care of our elderly.

It is a big task, but we must get the momentum going if we are to prevent these investments from further depreciation and forever lost as rotting unproductive assets. Let the momentum begin.