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Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley is closely followed by Minister of Housing Edmund Dillon and Minister of Communications Donna Cox during a tour of a unit at the housing distribution drive by the Housing Development Corporation, Mahogany Court, Mt Hope, yesterday.

Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley yesterday revealed that former Petrotrin workers are one step closer to receiving lands suitable for housing as a team will begin surveying Petrotrin lands.

During a key distribution ceremony for units at Mahogany Court, Mt Hope Dr Rowley said the former workers of the company will be given first preference.

On December 17, 2018, he had told Parliament his government was “going to make sure that some of the Petrotrin lands were made available around the southland for those persons who were associated with the company so they can have and access land for housing.”

Yesterday, 13 months later and with an election due by year’s end, Dr Rowley said work has started on fulfilling that promise.

“As I speak to you now there is a technical group that is working hard about to begin the surveys for Petrotrin lands in the south and central parts of Trinidad and Tobago to meet a commitment to those Petrotrin workers, many of whom would have lost their jobs as a result of the closure of the refinery and the restructuring of Petrotrin,” he said.

Dr Rowley said the lots were being developed “so that those who did not have a house when they left Petrotrin would have a house with Government subsidy and Government support.” He noted, however, that the process had only just begun with outstanding work still to be done.

“We first have to find the land, we then have to survey it, we then have to find the contractors to build the infrastructure and so on and this takes time. And eventually, hopefully in the not too distant future, developed lots would be available,” he said.

He explained that the Government also intends to provide lots to those who may not have been affiliated with the company to satisfy the need for housing in the country.

The Mahogany Court project is the first to be commissioned by the Housing Development Corporation through a public-private partnership model. NH International Caribbean Limited was contracted to do infrastructure and construction work.

There are four other similar partnerships ongoing at Trestrail, D’abadie; Bamboo Creek Villas, Cunupia; Riverside, Corinth and one yet to be named in Fyzabad.

The sod was turned in November 2016 and construction started in April 2018. It is expected to provide 160 units.