MP Omar Ottley Advocates for Transparency from The Sint Maarten Housing Development Foundation

July 9, 2024  -PHILIPSBURG—The Honorable Omar E.C. Ottley, Member of Parliament and Leader of the United People’s Party has issued a call for immediate and transparent information from the Sint Maarten Housing Development Foundation (SMHDF). This demand arises from numerous complaints by residents regarding the deplorable conditions of some homes and the opaque nature of the foundation’s operations.
“Enough is enough,” declared MP Ottley. “The people of Sint Maarten deserve to know what is happening with their homes. The current state of affairs is unacceptable.”
Residents in areas managed by the SMHDF, such as Belvedere, have long struggled with severe maintenance neglect and uncertainty about homeownership. Reports have surfaced of homes with peeling paint, falling doors, leaking roofs, and dysfunctional plumbing and electrical systems. These conditions have raised serious questions about the foundation’s commitment to its tenants.
Adding to the urgency is the staggering waiting list for proper housing in Sint Maarten, with over 5,000 individuals and families in desperate need of accommodation. This crisis has worsened since Hurricanes Irma and Maria in 2017. Despite the growing demand, the SMHDF has been notably silent about the availability of houses and the status of the waiting list. Many residents, who have been promised homeownership after years of payment, have yet to receive any confirmation.
“People are living in conditions that are not just uncomfortable but outright hazardous,” said MP Ottley. “And on top of that, there’s no clarity on when, or even if, they can own their homes. The lack of communication and transparency from the SMHDF is deeply troubling.”
Residents have expressed frustration over the foundation’s failure to provide essential information about existing homes or the criteria and timeline for homeownership. This lack of transparency is not merely a bureaucratic issue but a significant source of stress and dissatisfaction for those relying on the SMHDF for their housing needs.
MP Ottley’s call for transparency is a beacon of hope for many who feel abandoned by the system. He urges the SMHDF to provide a clear and detailed update on housing availability, the status of the waiting list, and the steps to address the maintenance issues plaguing current properties.
“The people of Sint Maarten have endured enough hardship,” MP Ottley stated firmly. “It is time for the SMHDF to step up and fulfill its responsibilities. The foundation must ensure that every tenant lives in a safe, well-maintained home and that those on the waiting list are given clear and honest information about their housing prospects.”
MP Ottley’s demand for transparency is not just a call for information but a plea for accountability and compassion from the Sint Maarten Housing Development Foundation. “The residents of Sint Maarten are watching and waiting, hopeful that this demand will lead to the changes they desperately need and deserve. Their hope for change is palpable, and it is up to the SMHDF to fulfill it,” said MP Ottley.

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