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By the end of this fiscal year thirty (30) new housing units will be completed and distributed to qualifying residents at Samuel Cooper Road, Fifth Company, Moruga under the Ministry of Housing and Urban Development’s Home Village Improvement Programme (HVIP). Ten other home improvement works will also be undertaken, while infrastructural and drainage works have already started in the community.  Residents will also be provided with a new Community Centre earmarked for the next fiscal year.


On Thursday, the Honourable Major General (Ret’d) Edmund Dillon, Minister of Housing and Urban Development toured the Merikins community where Phase I of the project has started. Minister Dillon said, “I am satisfied with the quality of construction work done by the local contractors and hope to see this standard maintained throughout the project.” He said the structures were able to withstand a 6.9 magnitude earthquake without damage, so that demonstrated the standard of work being done. He also commended the Land Settlement Agency (LSA) for the proper management of the project.


Also touring with the Honourable Minister was Dr. Lovell Francis, MP for Moruga/Tableland. Dr. Francis said the “Levels of poverty in this area are astonishing.” He said, “This is a good pilot project to bring people to a proper standard of living.”


One resident, Janice Western, a mother of four said, “I feel nice and very proud. My house before was cracking up and now I have a new home to be thankful for.”

Also on the tour were Simone Thorne-Mora, Permanent Secretary, Hazar Hosein,- Chief Executive Officer and Ossley Francis, Chairman of the Land Settlement Agency.


The HVIP is a pilot initiative by the Ministry of Housing and Urban Development (MHUD) which is managed by the Land Settlement Agency (LSA). This program is based on two levels: the village improvement and the individual level. It is an aided self-help approach to provide housing and village improvements solutions for early and emergency works for the development and upgrade of basic infrastructure, utilities and services; development of a historic/preservation theme for the villages to help create a sense of place and pride; provision of skills training after the requisite needs assessment and facilities for example day care and homework centers.


Before ending the tour, Minister Dillon also stopped at a HDC housing development at Gomez Trace, St Mary’s Village, Moruga. The Minister toured completed units and spoke to contractors on site.  So far, 42 single family units have been completed.  Twenty-nine (29) more units are expected to be completed by the end of October.

The Honourable Major General (Ret’d) Edmund Dillon getting a first-hand look at construction works at Samuel Cooper Road, Fifth Company, Moruga
The Honourable Major General (Ret’d) Edmund Dillon greets a resident. In the background, Dr. Lovell Francis, MP for Moruga/Tableland