Lead Editor Investigations
The Housing Development Corporation (HDC) has appointed three general managers and boards to three subsidiary state enterprises created to propel the organisation to be more efficient.
In a newspaper advertisement published yesterday, the HDC said this followed a Cabinet decision of August 25, 2022.
Romel Ramarack was appointed general manager of the Trinidad and Tobago Housing Development Corporation Construction Company Limited.
Newman George was appointed chairman and Keith Thomas was appointed deputy chairman.
The directors are Adande Piggott, Winston Kurt Salandy, Zaida Rajnauth, Chaika Matthew and Jamel Reid.
According to the HDC, the company will manage all elements of property development, including land acquisition, urban planning, project and construction management and the provision of financing solutions to undertake construction projects.
Jeremy Campbell was appointed general manager of the T&T Housing Development Corporation Asset Management Company Limited.
Joanne Deoraj was appointed chairman and Dante Selman-Carrington was named deputy chairman.
The directors are Jeffery Reyes, Shereece Smith, Robert Green and Gail La Touche.
The HDC said the company will complete the sales of the finished housing units and will continue to manage and provide administrative support for housing development under its purview until handed over to purchasers.
Wesley George was appointed general manager of the T&T Housing Corporation Facilities Management Company Limited, while Keston McQuilkin was appointed chairman and Keli Gbekor deputy chairman.
The directors are Jayselle McFarlane, Aaliya Hosein, Sharon Archie, Susan Shurland and Andel Andrew.
The HDC said this company will focus on property management, including the maintenance of rental housing units, the maintenance of the management company portfolio and partnering with regional corporations and other external entities to upkeep communities and promote sustainable community development.
The idea was first floated by Finance Minister Colm Imbert in Budget 2022 and again in Budget 2023.
“The HDC as presently organised, managed, and financed has built-in inefficiencies and it cannot continue with business as usual. It is distracted by having to deal with the many demands for maintenance of rental properties and the difficulties in collecting money owed by occupiers of HDC properties, as well as the urgent need for new housing construction,” he had said in Budget 2023.
Focus on housing
With the establishment of HDC’s three state enterprises, and the incoming merger of the Home Mortgage Bank (HMB) and the T&T Mortgage Finance Co Ltd (TTMF), the Government is seeking to make housing more accessible and affordable to citizens.
Guardian Media understands that documents for the merger process— proposed over 10 years ago and formally approved since 2021—are now before Finance Minister Colm Imbert.
The TTMF facilitates mortgages by lending money to potential homeowners, while the HMB packages mortgages into securities that can be sold to investors.
In its 2022 annual report, the TTMF said it achieved a growth in assets of 8.46 per cent to $5.15 billion and profit before tax of $136.1 million, up from $127.7 million in 2021, a 6.6 per cent year-on-year increase.
“This strong financial performance continues the momentum of prior years and effectively creates a solid platform from which we can provide sustainable returns to our shareholders, the National Insurance Board of Trinidad and Tobago and the Minister of Finance/Corporation Sole.
“It also enables us to successfully deliver on our primary mandate, which is to provide affordable financing to the citizens of Trinidad and Tobago.
“This position of strength fuels our optimism in the coming year ahead of the merger of TTMF and Home Mortgage Bank (HMB).
“Once completed, the merged company will leverage the combined strengths of the two companies and enable innovation and dynamism in the next chapter of the company’s evolution as we continue to provide affordable mortgage financing and generate purpose-driven outcomes that benefit all our stakeholders,” former chairman Douglas Camacho had said in the report.
Camacho also said in the 2022 annual report: “Our board of directors remains committed to ensuring the successful transition to the new company, and I thank our teams for everything they have done to support what has been one of our most important strategic initiatives. Affordable housing is essential to the future of our industry, our communities and ultimately our country.”
His report added: “Through a combination of public policies, public-private partnerships and financial resources, the government has implemented a sequenced and complementary programme to expand the pool of affordable and quality housing for the citizens of Trinidad and Tobago, particularly the low-income and vulnerable segments.
“The allocation of $1.5 billion to the Housing Development Corporation (HDC) in the government’s 2022/2023 national budget as well as the re-organisation of the HDC into three companies, which collectively will deliver on well-designed and affordable housing solutions for qualifying persons from the low- and middle-income groups, will support the delivery of housing solutions for low-income earners.
“Furthermore, TTMF and HMB, when merged, will be well-positioned to provide resources for financing the stock of housing units as well as facilitate better access to mortgages.”