THERE are approximately 176,000 people awaiting a response from the Housing Development Corporation (HDC) and the figure is expected to increase in the coming months, Minister of Housing Edmund Dillon said as he spoke with the media after a tour of the Mahogany Court, Mt Hope housing project yesterday.
Dillon said he was aware that the figure is steadily increasing and said while it was not possible for government to provide housing for all applicants, he was optimistic partnerships between public and private stakeholders and other initiatives will reduce this figure as government seeks to fulfil its mandate to provide quality housing at an affordable cost.
“As you are well aware, it is very difficult for government to provide housing for all applicants on the database right now.
“But we will engage in a number of different initiatives. One is the public-private partnership. We’ve also started a project in Moruga at the Merikin village, which involves small contractors within the area, but also sweat equity from the villagers themselves.”
Dillon said despite being a new addition to the Ministry of Housing and Urban Development, he was satisfied with the work done and confident that all citizens will benefit from continued public-private partnerships, as the government has already began using small private contractors to construct projects in Malabar and Moruga.
HDC chairman Newman George said apartments at Mahogany Court will be available for $1.1 million and of the 23,700 applicants in Mt Hope, 350 were already pre qualified for units.
He said while the corporation was still committed to providing affordable housing for citizens through other developments such as the River Runs Through project in Arima and Bon Air South.