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HDC to focus more on rentals

Wednesday, May 24, 2017
HDC Managing Director Brent Lyons presents Amanda Richards with her keys to her new unit at the Malick Housing Development. as her companion Chazz Cheewah looks on during the presentation ceremony yesterday.

The Housing Development Corporation (HDC) will now be putting its focus on making rental units available to applicants, which is part and parcel of an upcoming policy change at the Ministry of Housing.

This was disclosed yesterday by Housing Minister Randall Mitchell at a key distribution to successful rental applicants for the Malick Housing Development.

The brief ceremony for these apartments, which will be rented for about $1,500 per month, took place at the HDC’s South Quay, Port-of-Spain headquarters. Only 15 families received their keys, however, they having been those who remained following a similar exercise last December, where 34 out of 1,000 applicants were given their keys to their new homes.

Mitchell said the majority of applicants at the HDC were people earning below $6,000, “those who cannot, even through the affordable rent to own homes programme, cannot qualify to purchase units. So we are now looking to shift policy and concentrate on scarce resources (referring to money) to the construction of rental units.”

He also said Government now has to decide what is the best way to offer subsidised housing.

“The HDC was instructed to look at the policy, where now we can move towards a better, more efficient and a more effective use of the subsidy that Government provides,” he added.

He said the HDC will still be providing units for purchase, but will utilise the public-private partnership arrangement, where the HDC can provide infrastructure and then invite contractors to construct housing units.

Mitchell remind yesterday’s successful applicants to keep their obligations for paying rent on time and keeping their units and common areas clean.


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