Housing Minister Edmund Dillon distributes an allocation package to a new home owner. (Image: Ministry of Housing and Urban Development)

Roughly 40 persons today received their home ownership packages from the Trinidad and Tobago Housing Development Corporation (HDC) in an abridged, virtual distribution ceremony.

On Tuesday 2 June 2020, 15 individuals received their packages directly from the Housing and Urban Development Minister, Edmund Dillon and MP for San Fernando East, Randall Mitchell.

A news release from the housing ministry reports that fifteen recipients were allocated housing units at the refurbished Building 17 in Pleasantville, as well as units in 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 course of the day, for these three communities.

According to the release, additional distributions for these communities will continue during this month. This is the second ceremony using this new approach; the first was held on May 19th in Point Fortin.

The HDC says these new approaches to housing distribution ceremonies have been adopted in order to adhere to the new health measures and physical distancing guidelines of COVID-19 protocols.

Member of Parliament for the San Fernando East constituency, Randall Mitchell, current Tourism Minister, had served as Minister at the Ministry of Housing and Urban Development during period that projects that led to the new housing communities were initiated.

“I was privileged to serve at the Ministry when these projects began,” Minister Mitchell observed. “But more than that, the privilege is amplified, considering that some of these new units were planned and constructed here in San Fernando East. There is no greater happiness than to be part of the planning, development and now the distribution of housing, as MP for San Fernando East.”

Housing Minister Edmund noted that since September 2015, the HDC was able to distribute over 3,000 homes.

“We are extremely pleased to be able to deliver on our mandate, as we believe every family should have an opportunity to lead decent, rewarding lives regardless of their circumstances,” Minister Dillon said.  “I am, therefore, appealing to you to make the most of this opportunity by taking an active role in positively shaping your new communities.”

Minister Dillon added: “New home owners, remember to honour your financial obligations to the HDC and the TTMF, so that you can ensure security of tenure and provide a revenue stream that will assist the HDC to pay contractors, build even more housing units to add to the national stock, and maintain existing rental properties for the benefit of hundreds of families.”

On Wednesday June 03, the Ministry of Housing and Urban Development and the HDC will be conducting the first of two live Modified Random Draws, where 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.