As the Housing Development Corporation (HDC) distributed new homes to 244 families yesterday, Housing and Urban Development Minister Edmund Dillon said this was a small figure compared to the 180,000 applicants in its database.
“That’s just a small drop in the ocean compared to the 180,000 persons who are waiting for units. You are not considering yourselves lucky, but consider yourselves in a good position this morning,” Dillon told recipients at a distribution ceremony in Cypress Hills, San Fernando.
Keys were distributed for homes in Cypress Hills, San Fernando; Buen Intento, Princes Town; Cashew Gardens, Carlsen Fields; Riverside North, Ste Madeleine and Eden Gardens, Freeport.
Dillon revealed that between 2015-2019, the HDC distributed approximately 3,600 housing units. With one year until general elections, there is a plan to distribute a further 1600 housing units, bringing the number of homes distributed by this Government to around 6000.
However, he said it was challenging for the HDC as some of its tenants are delinquent on their mortgages and rental payments.
Through an agreement with the Mortgage Finance Company (TTMF), homeowners can access mortgages at interest rates of 2 per cent and 5 per cent. In 2018, over 1200 families were able to accessTTMF loans.
Over the years, several HDC housing developments have developed a stigma for disorderly behaviour. However, Dillon told the new homeowners that they were responsible for setting their community’s standards.
He said, “In Cypress, for instance, they have already set the standard. When you are driving, you see pristine. I have not seen any piece of clothing hanging on any bannister.
I have not seen a sneaker hanging up on any line since I drove into this compound If the new homeowners come into the compound and decide to let their children throw their sneakers over the electricity line or hang their clothes on the bannisters and so on, what you are doing is bringing down the value of your property .”
He added: “If the new homeowners suggest that they will allow their children to go on the stairwell and smoke this and smoke that or gamble on the stairwell or make noise on the stairwell. If you allow your, neighbours to play the music too loud without complaining, you allow them to bring down your property.”
Reporter: Kevon Felmine