Housing Minister announces new housing solution for low and middle-income earners: Aided Self Help Programme
The Ministry of Housing and Urban Development is aware that despite the country’s economic circumstances at this time, it must continue to pursue innovative solutions to cater to the housing needs of citizens in need, particularly the low to middle income earners.
It is for this reason that Government, through the Ministry of Housing and Urban Development, will introduce a new housing programme targeting low and middle-income earners. This new programme, officially titled Government’s Aided Self Help Housing Programme, is a residential serviced lots programme that has its genesis in the National Housing Policy and aims to ensure that public sector housing solutions remain affordable and accessible for those who need it the most.
The Government’s Aided Self-Help Housing Programme, is unique in that it seeks to empower ordinary citizens to manage the construction of their own homes with financial and technical support from the state. The strategy allows for the provision of fully developed housing lots; sold at thirty (30%) percent its market value, access to subsidised mortgage facilities from the Trinidad and Tobago Mortgage Finance Company, pre-approved house plans, and oversight assistance for the construction of high quality affordable homes. It is expected that 1000 lots will be available to prospective home owners for construction within the upcoming fiscal year.
This is the first time that the Ministry has launched such a comprehensive programme which not only seeks to assist persons seeking affordable residential serviced land lots to erect houses, but also aims to assist those with land needing some assistance to construct a housing unit. Those without land, can have access to pre-approved house plans, a list of shortlisted contractors and technical oversight.
In commenting on this new initiative, Housing Minister, Randall Mitchell indicated that this programme is one of the many programmes which Government will initiate in order to further stimulate the economy and to create employment for the skilled and semi-skilled labourers. In fact, Minister Mitchell affirms that this programme “will also see the increase in the national housing stock and a decrease in the demand on the HDC for the supply of housing units. I am very pleased because this initiative will offer another solution to those desirous of the state’s assistance.”
This programme, paired with the recently-announced Housing Construction Incentive Programme, will ensure that the shelter requirements of those most in need, move from being simply dreams to possibilities. The benefits of these programmes are numerous and should enhance the quality of life for our citizens and redound to the overall benefit of our country.