Home Improvement Grant Cheque Distribution Ceremony
Feature Address by
The Honourable Camille Robinson-Regis
Minister of Housing and Urban Development
Ministry of Housing and Urban Development Head Office, Large Conference Room
Wednesday, November 16, 2022 11:00 a.m.
- The Honourable Adrian Leonce, Minister in the Ministry of Housing and Urban Development
- Ms. Nirmala Ramlogan, Permanent Secretary (Ag), Ministry of Housing and Urban Development
- Mrs. Hermian Smart-Findlay, Manager, Housing Programme, Facilitation & Implementation Unit (HPFIU), Ministry of Housing & Urban Development
- Heads of Departments
- Beneficiaries of the Home Improvement Grant Programme
- Members of the Media
- Ladies and Gentlemen
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Good morning everyone,
I am always delighted to attend these events, because it is an opportunity for us at the Ministry to highlight how our policies, programmes, plans and initiatives are able to deliver tangible results that substantially improve people’s living conditions, and bring them immense comfort and joy.
Today is no different, as we disburse grants to approximately two hundred and sixty-six (266) families whose applications have been processed based on allocations received during the last quarter of the fiscal period. The total value of these disbursements is four million dollars ($4M). Today we have twenty- five families here with us who are representative of the two hundred and sixty-six.
The Home Improvement Grant Programme continues to play an integral role in the Ministry’s Housing portfolio. As such, our aim at the Ministry is to ensure that persons who qualify for the grant can access same expeditiously in order to carry out structural repairs and refurbishment, to enhance their living conditions and by extension improve their social condition, and reduce the need for new housing.
We must be cognizant that with several, other social services competing for the same resources, it can be challenging to address the needs and concerns of all of our applicants, in as expeditious a manner as we would like. Nevertheless, we ensured effective distribution and equitable allocation of these resources.
The Ministry has commenced an exercise, which will identify the oldest applications to clear the backlog of applications, improve customer service delivery and overall efficiency.
I, therefore, wish to sincerely thank those who are still awaiting selection for your continued patience and understanding, as we now move to a new vista of expeditions processing of applications process as many applicants.
For fiscal 2022, the Housing Programme, Facilitation and Implementation Unit which is responsible for administering the Home Improvement Grant Programme was allocated eight million dollars ($8M) which allowed us to disburse grants that benefited five hundred and sixty-seven (567) families, to primarily carry out general repairs, roofing and additions to their homes.
As you may be aware, this government through the Ministry has developed several housing initiatives over the years to assist the most vulnerable in our society including the elderly, single parent households and the differently abled. One such initiative has been the Home Improvement Grant Programme, which, since its inception in 2004, has assisted over 16,950 families.
For fiscal 2022, forty-seven percent (47%) of the beneficiaries comprised of persons, sixty years, 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 of female-headed households, while thirty-two (32%) percent were male.
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 need of their families and meet specific needs of seniors, so that they can be comfortable in their own homes.
The Programme also has the added effect of creating an economic ripple effect throughout communities, helping tradespeople, skilled and semi-skilled labourers and small businesses, especially community hardware stores. It provides an impetus for a level of economic activity at the community level while helping to defray the costs of our applicants’ home improvement projects.
For this year fiscal, this much touted Programme, been allocated twelve million ($12M) dollars is estimated to be disbursed to approximately eight hundred (800) families, as we continue to invest in our people, in our businesses, and in our economy, as outlined in the country’s National Development Strategy, Vision 2030.
In closing, I would like to thank my colleague, the Honourable Adrian Leonce, Ms. Nirmala Ramlogan, Actg Permanent Secretary and Mrs. Findlay and the Ministry team for organizing this event and look forward to attending many more in the coming weeks and months.
I appreciate your attention and wish to thank you for the opportunity to address you today.
May God continue to bless our people and our nation of Trinidad and Tobago.