Housing Minister allocates homes in abridged virtual ceremony

Housing and Urban Development Minister presents an allocation package and keys to a new homeowner. (Image: HDC)

Twenty-two individuals joined the ranks of homeowners today, as they finally received their allocation documents via an abridged and virtual Housing Distribution Ceremony.

According to a statement from the Ministry of Housing and Urban Development, the distributions were conducted at the Point Fortin Borough Hall and at the San Fernando office of the Trinidad and Tobago Housing Development Corporation (HDC).

The ceremony was carried live on the HDC’s Facebook and YouTube platforms.

Minister of Housing and Urban Development, Major General (Ret.) Edmund Dillon, who also is the Member of Parliament for Point Fortin, handed out the documents to those who attended the ceremony, while adhering to the health and safety protocols currently in effect against COVID-19.

“I am sure that these individuals and families who received their documents today are happy that they are now closer to being in their own homes,” Minister Dillon said.

The ministry notes that those who received their documents today, Tuesday May 19, originally had been scheduled to receive their allocation packages right before the Stay At Home measures were implemented in March but that process was postponed due to the measures.

In an effort to adhere to physical distancing guidelines, Minister Dillon, along with ministry officials distributed packages to ten individuals who arrived at pre-determined times to receive their documents at the Borough Hall. The remaining twelve individuals were given scheduled times at which to collect packages from the San Fernando office.

Present to witness today’s ceremony was Mayor of the Point Fortin Borough, Kennedy Richards Jnr and HDC Managing Director, Brent Lyons.

In commenting on this new approach to the distribution ceremonies, HDC Managing Director, Brent Lyons said the HDC has been adjusting and finding ways to adapt to the ‘new normal’.

“For this particular activity, we tried to fulfil our mandate and honour our commitment to these individuals and families, while adhering to the measures as they relate to proper hygiene, wearing of masks and physical distancing.”

The HDC boss reports that over the past two weeks, the HDC has been preparing its offices for the ‘new normal’ through the implementation of new measures, which include, but are not limited to: the installation of sinks at the main entrance; use of hand-held thermo scanners; wearing of masks by all those entering the building; physical distancing in the lobby; markings to guide queues and physical distancing in other shared spaced within the building.

“Guidelines and protocols also have been implemented for our housing construction sites and for staff members who conduct home visits and home repairs,” Brent Lyons said.

The twenty-two recipients were allocated homes in Lake View, Point Fortin, and Hubertstown, Guapo.

Work on the Lake View housing community in Point Fortin commenced in 2006. Since then, the project was suspended numerous times—the most recent being in 2015. In 2016, work resumed and from that time to the present, an additional 135 units were completed. The total expected yield for this community is 422 housing units (duplex and single-family units).