Petra Lee Foon and Kieron Cummings, parents of the Caribbean's first sextuplets, will be able to take their four surviving children to a brand-new home.The couple received keys to a three-bedroom single-family unit from Housing Minister Roodal Moonilal and Housing Development Corporation (HDC) chairman Jearlean John yesterday at the HDC's South Quay, Port-of-Spain head office.
Moonilal said he had met with Cummings, a bank employee, a month ago to discuss the family's housing needs. He said the family would receive the home at a cost of $375,000."The family will be able to move in with a licence to occupy and can later follow the procedure for full purchase," Moonilal said.A licence to occupy will allow the couple to move into the home immediately and pay rent until the time comes to purchase.
Moonilal said the arrangement was made so that a heavy financial burden was not placed on the couple, as they were sure to have a lot of expenses. They will also have a flexible payment plan."The possession of housing is not the end of it all," Moonilal said."This couple will have several other demands. They will need much more help. The HDC will see what else we can do but we hope the people in society will volunteer help as well."
Moonilal also called on the media to not "log out" after writing stories but to establish a needy case and support unit to assist the people they highlighted.The sextuplets were delivered at the Mt Hope Women's Hospital by a team of 18 doctors on March 4. Two of the babies,Paeton Christopher and Kaelon Nasir, have since died."We are very thankful to the Government, the HDC and the Minister of Housing and we are very happy for the opportunity," said Lee Foon.
The new mother appeared healthy and smiling as she and her fiance spoke briefly to the media.The couple said they would not move into the home at Edinburgh South immediately."We have to make sure the place can accommodate everyone first," Cummings said.Asked if the couple would be allowed to expand the home as their children got older and needed more space, John said all they would need to do is make a request to the HDC for approval to be given.
Lee Foon told reporters the three babies who are living with her at home were doing well."They are feeding properly and they are gaining weight."The mother of four, a teacher, said she was hoping and praying for her daughter Persia Meleigh.The two-month-old is still at the hospital."We are hoping and praying for her to come home. She is coming along well."The couple currently live at Lee Foon's family home in Chaguanas.