This innovative and cost-effective programme is designed to improve the housing conditions and community facilities of residents in rural and peri-urban areas. The Housing and Village Improvement Programme utilises the Aided Self- Help approach with the objective of targeting residents of disadvantaged villages through the creation of an enabling environment in which the community residents can achieve sustainable development through the provision of housing and village improvement.
Through the Housing and Village Improvement Programme, the Ministry of Housing and Urban Development (MHUD) intends to change the physical environment of selected villages on an individual and a communal basis. The intention here is to uplift the lives of families through the development of communities that are functional, attractive and encourages communication and enables collaboration.
The intervention provided by this programme, therefore, occurs on two levels:
- The Individual Household Level; and
- The Village Improvement Level.
The Individual Household Level
The Individual Household Level focuses on home construction and/or improvements, utilizing the Aided Self-Help Approach. The Ministry of Housing and Urban Development would make available pre- approved house plans using different construction methodologies for construction/ home improvement for those residents wishing to avail themselves of same.
Under the HVIP, the MHUD provides a subsidy to successful beneficiaries for the purchase of construction materials and payment towards labour cost for the construction and repairs to homes. The subsidy amount would be matched to the beneficiary’s housing conditions and the disbursement of funds would be in tranches to ensure effective project monitoring.
While the beneficiaries would be responsible for selecting and supervising the manpower towards the construction/improvement of their houses, suitably qualified staff from the Land Settlement Agency (LSA) and the Housing Programme Facilitation and Implementation Unit (HPFIU) also provide technical support and oversight to the beneficiaries during housing construction/ improvements and monitor the progress of the scope of works.
The Village Improvement Level
The Village Improvement Level focuses on 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 identification of both cultural and social services and facilities.
Award Winning Programme
On December 6, 2018, the Housing and Village Improvement Programme (HVIP) won the President’s Award for Service Excellence and Innovation in the Public Sector.
The Award is an initiative under the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) Group’s “Unfollow – same never made a difference” campaign and was open to applicants from Ministries, Public Service Departments/Divisions, State-owned Companies, Statutory Bodies or Municipalities.
The Ministry’s Housing and Village Improvement Programme (HVIP) was the entry that was selected, which according to the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), successfully met all of the judging criteria. The areas covered in the judging criteria consisted of; 1. Customer Focus, 2. Innovation, 3. Systems/Methodologies/Processes, 4. Teamwork and 5. Physical Environment.
The President’s Award is tied to the third pillar of the IDB Group’s 2016-2020 Country Strategy with Trinidad and Tobago which is focused on strengthening public sector institutions and governance.