Ministry of Housing and Urban Development Distributes Emergency Shelter Relief Grants to Homeowners in the Aftermath of Unexpected Disasters
On July 26, 2023, the Honourable Camille Robinson-Regis, Minister of Housing and Urban Development, the Honourable Adrian Leonce, Minister in the Ministry of Housing and Urban Development and executives of the Ministry, presented cheques to representatives of thirty-six (36) families, whose homes were severely affected by sudden, unforeseen events such as fires, flooding, high winds, landslides and heavy rainfall. The distribution ceremony took place at the Ministry’s Head Office, South Quay, Port-of-Spain.
Recipients were from across Trinidad, in areas including Debe, Laventille, Penal, Princes Town, San Juan, Sangre Grande, Santa Cruz, Toco. Minister Robinson-Regis said, that she knows only too well, “the sense of uncertainty people feel when disaster strikes, and they are faced with having to complete critical repairs to their homes. Help, on those occasions, can never come fast enough.”
The Emergency Shelter Relief Fund, therefore, serves a very important role. As oftentimes, when disaster occurs, low to lower-middle income homeowners may not have the financial or other resources or contingencies to effectively deal with the situation to get back on their feet in a timely manner. In this regard, the Ministry of Housing and Urban Development’s Emergency Shelter Relief Fund is able to step in and lend a helping hand. As such, the Ministry remains committed, to assisting citizens and bringing them much-needed financial relief, to conduct urgent repair works and maintain habitable, living conditions, in the aftermath of a disaster.
In response to applications received thus far in fiscal 2023, the Ministry disbursed 36 Emergency Shelter Relief Grants valued at $725,291.00. Grants distributed ranged in value from $15,000.00 to a maximum of $25,000.00.
Minister Adrian Leonce told beneficiaries “The effects of climate change have brought about extreme weather patterns, and the Ministry is providing support to citizens to effect repairs to their dwellings. We may not be able to control the weather, but we can control our response when disaster strikes, which is what we are doing today.” In the long term, the Ministry’s goal is to alleviate the distress caused by disasters and maintain the nation’s existing housing stock as far as is humanly possible.
The Housing Programme Facilitation and Implementation Unit of the Ministry of Housing and Urban Development administers the Emergency Shelter Relief Fund.
Also in attendance were Permanent Secretary (Ag.), Mrs. Shanmatee Singh Ng Sang, Deputy Permanent Secretary (Ag.) Mrs. Lena Hanooman-Boodram, Mrs. Hermian Smart-Findlay, Manager, Housing Programme Facilitation and Implementation Unit and other officials of the Ministry.