Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : March 6th 2015 Contents RENUKA SINGH
Housing Minister Dr Roodal Moonilal
has unveiled an aggressive plan by the
Government to distribute close to 5,000
homes over the remainder of this year, at
a pace of 100 homes a week until year s
This, however, if achieved, will still not
make a substantial dent on the over 160,000
applications for Housing Development Cor-
poration (HDC) homes.
Since Moonilal announced the plans yes-
terday during an interview on CNMG, social
media critics have labelled the move as an
But Moonilal has denied the housing drive
was part of any election plan, saying that
the HDC had been operating "under the
radar" and out of the media glare while
handing out keys over the past year.
"I wanted to start earlier but there were
financial delays and some issues. We finally
got the okay from the Minister of Finance
and we are going to start distribution from
Moonilal said his ministry and the HDC
were working "quietly" over the past three
years to have close to 5,000 homes ready
to distribute this year.
"We have been working out of the glare
of the media, just quietly putting things
together," he said.
Moonilal dismissed critics who questioned
the timing of the distribution.
"We gave out 1,000 homes over the
Christmas season, was that an election ploy
too?" he asked.
"If this was a ploy, then we could ask all
the people who will be getting homes if
they rather wait until after election and see
how that works. Makes no sense to say it s
an election gimmick."
During last year s budget statement,
Finance Minister Larry Howai pegged the
amount of HDC home applicants at 160,000
and according to Moonilal that figure grows
In fact, at a key distribution ceremony
last December, Moonilal said applicants
stood at 272,000 and said since 2010 his
ministry had handed out 5,200 keys. If he
keeps with his new plan, Moonilal will dis-
tribute close to that four-year total figure
in a matter of months.
Yesterday, Moonilal said construction has
been going on "quietly" over the past three
years in order to prepare homes for distri-
bution on this scale.
He claimed that as a "major success" for
both his ministry and the HDC, saying that
both the HDC and State-run Urban Devel-
opment Corporation of T&T (Udecott) has
been "cleaned up" during his tenure.
"It is a major success, I am very happy
we are able to do this," he said.
Friday, March 6, 2015 www.guardian.co.tt Guardian
• Between 2011-2012, Moonilal said the HDC
gave out 3,600 units.
• For 2012 to 2013, a total of 1,977
individuals were recipients of new homes,
while in 2013 to 2014 the figure jumped to
• Moonilal said for 2014 to 2015, an
additional 2,280 would become new home
owners and by 2015 to 2016 approximately
2,728 units to be handed out.
• He said Union Hall will have the largest
distribution with 1,080 units over the next two
years. Trailing behind is Couva, with 515 units.
Enterprise is third with 429.
The houses were distributed from
developments in the following areas;
Greenvale Park, La Horquetta.
Oropune Gardens, Piarco.
Cleaver Heights Housing Development,
Tarodale Gardens, San Fernando.
Edinburgh South, Chaguanas.
Golconda Housing Development, Golconda.
Cypress Hills, San Fernando.
Union Hall, San Fernando.
Fairfield Housing Estate, Princess Town.
5,000 homes in 8 months
GETTING IT RIGHT
A story on page A11 of yesterday's Guardian
incorrectly named Rae Ann Harper-Walters as
NP's communications manager. Rae Gilbert in
fact holds that position. Our apologies for the
How houses were distributed:
Moonilal: No election gimmick
People's National Movement (PNM)
leader Dr Keith Rowley yesterday labelled
the move an "election distribution," but
said that he too was "very happy" for
those who would be receiving houses.
"I am very happy for the many
recipients who are finally able to benefit
from the PNM housing policy," Rowley
said in a text response to questions
He hinted that all the home
construction projects were actually
initiated under the PNM prior to the 2010
"All the various sites where this
election distribution will take place are
projects which were at various stages of
completion in 2010," he said.
HDC managing director Jearlean John
yesterday also dismissed all suspicion
over the timing of the handover. She said
the HDC had a "hard working team" and
the administration was ready for the
heavy task ahead.
"We had almost a trial run last year
when we handed out about 1,000 keys,"
John said the handover was the simple
part, as it was a manifestation of all the
years of work that went beforehand to
prepare the houses.
"Keep in mind we have a certain
standard of houses that we distribute,"
John also denied it was an election
ploy, saying that the HDC has been
"quietly" giving out homes outside of the
glare of the media.
"We have been serving the public
quietly," John said.
There has been several publicised key
giveaways over the part five years.
for 05TH MARCH, 2015
An aerial photograph of an unoccupied government housing settlement in east Trinidad.
Housing Minister Dr Roodal Moonilal announced yesterday that Government would
distribute 100 houses each week till the end of the year.
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