HOUSING Minister Edmund Dillon disclosed that as the construction sector reopens on Thursday, as part of Government's covid19 reopening strategy, the housing sector will receive a much needed boost in activity.
At a virtual Housing Development Corporation (HDC) distribution ceremony in Point Fortin on Tuesday, Dillion said the ministry's small and medium contractors housing initiative will be starting "once the stay at home restrictions are lifted" with respect to the construction industry. On May 16, the Prime Minister announced an early start to phase two of the reopening strategy on May 21 (Thursday) instead of May 24 as covid19 preventative measures continue to work well.
This phase involves the reopening of the manufacturing and construction sectors. Dillon explained the small to medium contractors housing initiative will see these contractors building houses which will be accessible to people with incomes of between $250,000 to $500,000 per month.
"Three (housing) developments are being evaluated and are ready for awards" Dillon said. He also disclosed that in the coming weeks, the HDC will hold random draws to distribute 1,100 units to qualified applicants on its database.
He thanked the private sector for partnering with Government to build affordable housing for the public "Through the public private partnerships we have been able to procure 605 addition housing units through five new housing projects valued at over $1 billion."
Dillon also said to date, Government has distributed over 3,000 housing units. He said this was no easy feat, given the country's economic circumstances. Through the public sector investment programme, Dillon said nine housing developments stalled after the May 24, 2010 elections and seven unfinished projects inherited after the September 7, 2015 general election were finshed
He added that seven new housing starts were made in 2016. Dillon said while the Health and Finance Ministries have been providing frontline public health and financial support in the covid19 fight, his ministry and the HDC were amongst the agencies that were quierlyworking in "a seamless manner to keep this country on an even keel while we negotiate these uncharted waters."
Point Fortin Mayor Kennedy Richards Jr urged the 68 people who received certificates for HDC units in Lake View and the 16 who received certificates for units in Hubertstown, to practice good homeownership. Due to covid19 restrictions only five homeowners participated in the ceremony on Tuesday.
The remaining homeowners have been advised to visit the HDC's San Fernando office at different times to receive their documents.