266 citizens receive Home Improvement Grants
The Honourable Camille Robinson-Regis, Minister of Housing and Urban Development, on Wednesday November 16, 2022, presented cheques to 25 recipients of the Ministry’s Home Improvement Grant (HIG). The 25 persons, representing the total 266 beneficiaries for the month of November 2022, each collected an agreement and a cheque for $7,500, the first half of the $15,000.00 Grant, at the Ministry’s head office in Port-of-Spain. For the 266 recipients, the total value of these grants is four million dollars ($4M).
Minister Robinson-Regis said: “Today’s ceremony clearly demonstrates the Ministry’s, and by extension this Government’s, commitment to assisting homeowners as best as possible to maintain the structural integrity of their homes, meet the growing needs of families with specific emphasis on our senior citizens, so that they can be comfortable in their own homes.”
The recipients from throughout the country, hailed from Arouca, Blanchisseuse, Bon Air Gardens, Carapichaima, Caroni, Chaguanas, Claxton Bay, Couva, D’abadie, Diego Martin, Maraval, Maloney Gardens, Morvant, Trincity, Port of Spain and St Helena. While some of the 266 recipients have already received their cheques, others will be contacted in the coming days.
The Home Improvement Grant, administered by the Housing Programme Facilitation and Implementation Unit (HPFIU) of the Ministry of Housing and Urban Development, exists to help families with small home repairs, including renovation and/or expansion and to enable wheelchair access. Since its inception in 2004, the Programme has assisted over 16,950 families.
Minister Robinson-Regis noted that women and senior citizens are among the top beneficiaries of the Home Improvement Grant. She said: “For fiscal 2022, forty-seven percent (47%) of the beneficiaries comprised persons sixty years and over, fifty percent (50%) were applicants between the ages of thirty, and fifty-nine years and three percent (3%) were between the ages of twenty-one and twenty-nine. Of that number, sixty-eight percent (68%) comprised female-headed households. Minister Robinson-Regis also indicated that the renovations meant the circulation of money in the community, as local builders, tradespeople, skilled craftsmen and the local hardware stores would be engaged in the activities, as work progressed. Further, for fiscal 2022/23, $12M would be disbursed in grants.
The Hon. Adrian Leonce, Minister in the Ministry of Housing and Urban Development, confirmed that, “There are several thousand applicants on our database still awaiting selection, so you should consider yourselves lucky to have had your application selected, and to be given the opportunity to carry out critical repairs to your homes.” He reminded recipients to contact an officer of the HPFIU, should they wish to change the scope of the project as stated in their Agreement. “We want you to succeed and get your repairs done, especially with the Christmas season upon us,” he said. The Minister also urged recipients to use the money wisely,
to shop around for the best prices, and to retain competent workmen to get the job done on time, and on budget, so that they can receive the full benefit of the grant.
Also, in attendance were acting Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Housing and Urban Development Ms. Nirmala Ramlogan, Manager of the HPFIU Mrs. Hermian Smart-Findlay, and Manager of the Legal Unit Mr. Alvin Pascall, along with other officials from the Ministry.