Minister Dillon presents Members of the Joint Protective Services Housing Committee with their Letters of Appointment
On February 27, 2019 the Minister of Housing and Urban Development, Major General (Ret.) Honourable Edmund Dillon presented Letters of Appointment to the members of the Joint Protective Services Housing Committee at the Ministry’s head office on South Quay. In welcoming Deputy Permanent Secretary Florette Clarke, Ministry of National Security as the new Chairperson of the Committee Minister Dillon also thanked outgoing Chair, Deputy Permanent Secretary Maria Joseph for her service. He told the members present that Ms. Clarke was well prepared for the task ahead.
He cautioned them to not lose sight of the purpose for the Committee, which is to recommend deserving servicemen and women for consideration of housing accommodations through the Housing Development Corporation (HDC). The Housing Minister reminded the members that this endeavour also ensured that the beneficiaries have a very visible presence in the various HDC housing developments across Trinidad. Minister Dillon explained that the remit of the Committee was to bring representatives of the various arms of the national security apparatus together to make recommendations in keeping with the National Housing Allocation policy. This policy framework is in accordance with a 2008 Cabinet approved decision which reserved the allocation of ten percent (10%) of all Government Assisted housing to members of the Protective Services. In this context, protective services include the Police Service, Fire Service, Prison Service and Defence Force (Regiment, Coast Guard, Air Guard and Reserves).
The Ministerial-appointed Joint Protective Services Housing Committee (JPSHC), which was created in 2008, is under the chairmanship of the Ministry of National Security. The Committee operated uninterrupted until 2010 when it was disbanded by the incoming administration. In the first quarter of 2017, former Housing and Urban Development Minister, the Honourable Randall Mitchell mandated the reconstitution of the Committee and the convening of meetings. Since then quite a number of officers have been assessed and allocated.
The Minister reiterated the point that one of the purposes for the work of this Committee was to ensure there was some kind of security element in most if not all of the housing developments; also, that the servicemen and women will provide leadership in the various communities they have been allocated by the very nature of their profession. This leadership will provide the young people with guidance and mentorship, which will have a positive influence in their lives. This, he said, should be instilled in the membership represented by the Committee.
In his closing comments, Minister Dillon challenged the newly installed Chair and the Committee to come up with a common criteria, as far as it is possible, considering there were disparities in their employment packages, so as to not disadvantage any one agency. He also wanted them to throw out to their membership the possibility of the Ministry’s Aided Self-Help Housing Programme as an alternative option to the subsidised Housing Programme, implemented by the Housing Development Corporation.