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HDC unable to help Josephs further

Published: 
Tuesday, December 12, 2017

The Housing Development Corporation says it cannot do anything more for former national heavyweight boxer Wendel Joseph and his wheelchair-bound wife Erica.

The HDC made the comment in a press release in response to the latest media reports which suggest the Josephs want to be relocated again, despite only recently been allocated an apartment at Charford Court, Port-of-Spain.

“The HDC is not prepared to go further at this time but is willing to work with any other state agency or NGO which wishes to offer assistance,” the HDC said, noting it had fulfilled its duties and responsibilities and even gone beyond its obligations in this regard.

The HDC also made it clear that on each occasion the couple complained to the HDC about their living conditions, a team from its Social and Community Services Unit was despatched to investigate the alleged claims. However, the HDC said on each occasion, the representatives were unable to substantiate the couple’s claims.

The HDC’s statement came even as officials from the Ministry of Social Development suggested the couple be psychologically assessed given their reported history. The officials, who wished not to go on record, said based on media reports over the years, it seemed the couple should be evaluated. They noted they could “not force the couple to undergo any sort of evaluation,” but would be willing to work with any other authority once it was within legal boundaries.

The Josephs have been recipients of HDC (state-subsidised) accommodation on several occasions between 1998 and 2017.

Prior to the Charford Court relocation, the couple was provided with a single family unit in Tarodale, San Fernando, which was retro-fitted specifically for Erica’s wheelchair access to the tune of tens of thousands.