Six thousand housing units will be delivered by December 2020 by the Housing Development Corporation (HDC) said Colm Imbert, Trinidad and Tobago’s Finance Minister.
Additionally, 3,000 units will be created annually going forward under the HDC’s Accelerated Housing Programme, Imbert said during his budget presentation to Parliament yesterday.
The announcement came within the context of some 175,000 applicants awaiting housing solutions, Imbert said. “Let me be clear, the low-to-middle income recipients of HDC housing could not have afforded such housing had it not been for our multi-year investment in public housing; yet despite this sustained public thrust, supply of housing has not been able to keep pace with the increasing demand.”
He added, “We have been addressing this acute social issue. We recognize that an adequate supply of housing units has been constrained by insufficient funding and the escalating cost of construction. We are overcoming those constraints.”
Among the achievements he listed regarding the cost of such housing is a reduction in the cost per square footage from $1,200 to approximately $600, which the aim of lowering this yet still.
To ensure the delivery of the housing units, he said several measures will be undertaken in the Government’s push to provide affordable shelter to low-and-middle income people.
“…numerous people who need HDC housing, do not qualify for it based on their financial circumstance.”
Despite these efforts, it will take decades to meet public demand for housing, made worse by the fact that numerous people who need HDC housing, do not qualify for it based on their financial circumstance. He said “many of the applicants for housing simply cannot qualify to purchase a HDC house, because they just do not have the means. In fact, because of hire purchase arrangements and other demands on their income, such as car loans, thousands of applicants can barely qualify for rental, or rent-to-own, rather than purchase of a Government constructed house.”