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Housing Minister receives a Courtesy Call from Habitat for Humanity International Director

Ms. Mónica Ramírez Londoño, Director of Housing and Human Settlements for Habitat for Humanity International (Latin America and the Caribbean) paid a courtesy call on the Honourable Randall Mitchell, Minister of Housing and Urban Development, today (March 13, 2017) at the Minister’s South Quay office. Ms. Londoño’s visit to Trinidad and Tobago coincides with Habitat for Humanity TT’s 20 th Anniversary celebrations to be held on March 14, 2017.

During this introductory meeting, the Honourable Minister acknowledged the work which has been undertaken by Habitat for Humanity in Trinidad & Tobago since 1997 and their devotion, as a charity organisation, to constructing "simple, decent, and affordable housing to address the issues of poverty and housing in Trinidad and Tobago. The Honourable Minister also congratulated the organisation on its 20 th anniversary and for its ability to provide over 500 housing solutions to deserving families in this country since 1997.

Discussions between the Minister and the visiting Director also focused on the present collaborative efforts and other possible areas for partnership such as the development of disaster-resilient housing which is currently being implemented in Jamaica. The New Urban Agenda which was conceptualized at the recently-held United Nations Habitat III conference, was also a topic of interest for the visiting dignitary who underscored Habitat’s commitment to this policy. Both parties agreed that the success of the New Urban Agenda lies in its ability to promote community-led development, environmental sustainability and the provision of affordable housing.

The Honourable Minister concluded the meeting by stating that “I see numerous areas for collaboration and once you are ready, I will ensure that the Ministry as well as our agencies such as the Housing Development Corporation and the Land Settlement Agency come to the table. You have my commitment. ” Also present during this Courtesy Call were Acting Permanent Secretary, Marion Hayes; Chairman of Habitat for Humanity TT, Derwin Howell and National Director of Habitat for Humanity TT, Jennifer Messiah.

Additional notes:

Government believes that Small Island Developing States (SIDS) like Trinidad and Tobago experience unique challenges in defining and implementing policies to harness the benefits and respond to the new issues that deal with urbanisation. It is for this reason that representatives from Trinidad and Tobago (Permanent Secretary, MHUD; Senior Economist, MHUD; Director, Town and Country Planning Division; Legal Manager, LSA) participated in UN HABITAT III Conference in Quito, Ecuador in November. The Ministry of Housing and Urban Development is part of the Steering Committee which is preparing the Habitat III National Report and is committed to working with all stakeholders to finalise this report.