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HDC has returned to its moorings—Mitchell

Published: 
Sunday, December 18, 2016
Permanent Secretary (Ag) Ministry of Housing and Urban Development, Simone Thorne-Mora, right, presents the keys to a new home at Cypress to a smiling three-year-old Anara Samuel yesterday, as her mother, Lisa-Ann, and father, Lyndon Mitchell, look on. PHOTO: ABRAHAM DIAZ

Housing Minister Randall Mitchell says Government has made housing more affordable to low and middle-income families unlike the People’s Partnership government which catered for high-income earners.

He was speaking at a key distribution ceremony for approximately 180 new Housing Development Corporation (HDC) home owners, many with young children at the Government Campus Plaza, Richmond Street, Port-of-Spain, yesterday.

“We returned the approved ceiling from $45,000 to $25,000. In so doing, we ensured that we maintained our legislative mandate to provide for low and middle income earning families and not the high-income earners that the last administration attempted to cater for,” Mitchell said.

“Now, low to middle-income earning families will no longer be left behind. We made the affordable mortgage programmes offered by the T&T Mortgage Finance Company Limited (TTMF) even more affordable by revising the mortgage-financing regime,” he said.

Mitchell said the qualifying income of people eligible for the two per cent interest rate had moved now from $10,000 to $14,000 and they can now access properties valued between $850,000 and $1 million.

Those earning between $14,001 to $30,000 can now benefit from a five per cent interest rate and can access properties valued between $1 million and $1.5 million, he said.

Mitchell said since assuming office, the ministry returned the HDC to its original moorings, which was to construct affordable housing for deserving applicants.

Mitchell said the average price of an HDC unit will return to a more affordable $450,000 to $500,000, down from $900,000 to $1.3 million in the last administration.

The ministry’s Permanent Secretary Simone Thorne-Mora said while the ministry was aware that it was the season of goodwill, she reminded the new homeowners that being allocated a Government-subsidised home from the HDC was not a free gift.

She said they had a responsibility to honour their commitments, pay their bills ,and fulfil the requirements that were stated in their guidelines and regulations.

Simone Thorne-Mora said by doing this they can help others who were desirous of home ownership.

Port-of-Spain Mayor Joel Martinez said the Corporation was committed to deliver services, develop new and existing infrastructure in the city, and providing support at every level with all stakeholders and government agencies.