Reader’s Letter: Come a lot better than this St. Maarten Housing Development Foundation

POSTED: 06/17/11 2:24 PM

Dear Editor,

Just today – June 15, 2011 – I got the experience of my life that is noteworthy of publication. I believe that some others may have had the same experience and just kept silent.

I was called by a very gracious lady at this foundation (St. Maarten Housing Development Foundation), who attended to me very politely and courteous. As we entered into our discussion, I almost fell backward from the chair I was sitting in, because of pure unbelief. I was shown a debtors statement, where I supposedly owed the foundation 2, 800 guilders in back rent. I was never aware of the fact that I owed this foundation one penny, because last year I owed them 580 guilders and paid that in full in January of this year (2011).

In October we received the usual forms for application in order to receive subsidy for this year. The form stated that we would be informed in December 2010, whether our subsidy requests were granted. Up to today, I have not received any notification from the foundation as to whether my subsidy application had been approved or rejected, but lo and behold, the foundation on its own, without any notification whatsoever to my person, carried my rent back up to 800 guilders per month. Not being informed of such I continued paying my monthly rent of 400 guilders regularly and the foundation kept booking me as 400 guilders short from January 2011 to June 2011, and did not tell me a word.

Thanks to the aforementioned lady who called me and asked me what was going on. She saw the look of amazement on my face because this really caught me with my britches down; a debt accumulation of 2, 800 guilders and not a word.

This department of the foundation (financial) is the terror of all the tenants. How can they do such a thing without informing me – the tenant? This is far from standard procedures. It smells like authoritarian rule and merciless consideration of the tenants.

Later I would have gotten a letter stating that I owed the foundation so many thousands and a letter would have been sent to a lawyer and then I’d be evicted for a debt that I unknowingly had to the foundation, because the financial department of this foundation unilaterally cancelled the subsidy and did not inform me – the tenant and concerned party. I am now quietly wondering, what kind of pressure will be applied to my person to pay up a debt, which the financial department of the foundation has created for me.

Had they told me in January that the rent was the full 800 guilders again, I would have done all possible to pay it. But don’t think that you can unilaterally do as you please with me and figure I will have to comply.

Some people are just inhumane in their dealings with others.

I have been a civil servant for 35 years and have held many prominent positions in my career as such. My motto was “service to humanity is the best work of life.” I learned this from the Jaycees in Statia and I applied it to my personal life. I have requested to discuss this matter with Henry Lynch, the general Managing Director of the foundation, because under absolutely no consideration can such an action be justified.

Vox populism Vox dei. There is a time to be silent and a time to speak out.


James E. Maduro

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