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Housing Minister Edmund Dillon distributes an allocation package to a new home owner during the distribution ceremony yesterday.

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The Housing Development Corporation is set to begin the first of two live Modified Random Draws today to select people to access their housing units.

Some 500 applicants from the public housing database will have an opportunity to be selected for assessment interviews.

The second Random Draw will provide an additional 600 individuals with an opportunity to be selected for interviews.

Speaking at an allocation of 38 packages for homes in San Fernando yesterday, Minister of Housing and Urban Development Edmund Dillon explained over 180,000 people on the Housing Development Corporation’s database were awaiting these houses.

He explained this was a way in which a wider portion of people can be reached.

“People would be selected randomly for interviews and assessments…those who meet the criteria would be presented with their keys and packages accordingly,” he said.

The draw would be done live from the Ministry of Housing and Development today, which Dillon said, would improve transparency in the process. He indicated some 3,000 houses have been distributed since 2015 “and we intend to continue distributing the remainder of houses between now and as time permits, as feasible, and as quickly as possible.”

Dillon estimates they would earn $9.7 million from the sale of units in Harmony Hall and $4 million from those at Corinth.

“These, ladies and gentlemen would generate income so that we can continue to provide additional housing units to the citizens of Trinidad and Tobago,” he said. Currently, he said, the drive of the ministry is to provide more rental units as some 83 per cent of people on its database cannot afford to purchase their homes and units.

“You will see in the near future a number of rental units being constructed again, in accordance to and parallel to those for mortgages and rent-to-own,” he said.

Over $1 billion has been invested in public-private partnerships to date, Dillon said.

On Tuesday, 15 people received their packages from the Housing and Urban Development Minister, Edmund Dillon and MP for San Fernando East, Randall Mitchell via an abridged virtual ceremony.

In addition to the 15 recipients who were allocated housing units at the refurbished Building 17, Pleasantville, Harmony Hall and Riverside Corinth, an additional 23 individuals were given pre-arranged times to collect their packages from the Port-of-Spain and San Fernando offices during the day for these three communities.

Additional distributions for these communities will continue during this month.