Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : April 27th 2015 Contents A7
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Some applicants for Housing
Development Corporation (HDC)
units believe that the recent lottery
draw used to generate names for
houses may not be fair to those who
have been on a waiting list for
Speaking in an interview after going
to the HDC s South Quay, Port-of-
Spain headquarters for their interview
packages yesterday, some applicants
admitted that while they had been for-
tunate to benefit from the lottery draw,
they were feeling it for those who have
been waiting for several years without
Katrina Lewis, who is a document
processor at the Office of the Attorney
General and lives in Laventille, said the
lottery system has its pros and cons.
"It has its ups and downs. I thought
that they would have chosen from a
group that was waiting 30 years, anoth-
er waiting about 15 years and those
who have been waiting more recently.
There are some people who have been
waiting for many years," she said.
The applicants began collecting
interview packages on Saturday, con-
tinued doing so yesterday and will con-
tinue next weekend during the hours
packages contain dates for the appli-
cants to return for their interviews,
expected to begin next weekend, as
well as the requirements for gaining a
Some 500 applicants were selected
to receive housing units during a
lottery draw on April 15.
Speaking at the lottery draw
two weeks ago, Housing Minister
Roodal Moonilal said more than
160,000 applications exist in the
HDC s database and while not
everyone could be accommodated,
he assured that the random lottery
afforded everyone an equal chance
at being selected.
He said under the current sys-
tem, 60 per cent of applicants
would be randomly selected, 25
per cent would be selected based
on ministerial discretion, ten per
cent allocated for the protective
services and five per cent to senior
citizens and physically challenged
Yesterday, Lewis said she had
been waiting for 17 years to be
called for an interview and was
"pretty excited" about the prospect
of owning her own home.
"I was totally speechless when
I got the news. I applied for an
HDC house when I was 18 years
"I am 35 years now and the day
has finally arrived for me. For two
years they had been telling me that
my name is pending on the list,"
Clint Gomez, from San Fernan-
do, echoed the sentiment that the
lottery system has its ups and
is unfair. Some people recently
applied for a house and others
applied many years ago, yet
through the lottery system every-
one has the same equal chance.
But it is the right of the HDC to
use a system that is best for them."
He said the price of housing in
T&T was out of reach for most
ordinary citizens and that anyone
who gets an HDC house should
consider himself or herself lucky.
Susan Mahadeo has been wait-
ing for an HDC house for 13 years.
"I really did not expect this. I
have a family and waited for many
years," she said.
Christal Chan-Ramsaran, an
accounts assistant from Oropune
Gardens, Piarco, said this was her
second time being called for an
interview and she hopes she will
hit gold this time.
"I have been waiting for a house
for ten years. I was interviewed
two years ago and I was not suc-
cessful. I hoping that this time I
meet all the requirements to obtain
She said she believes the present
housing market keeps ordinary
working people from accessing a
house and called house prices
"Getting a house these days is
a far-fetched dream for any ordi-
nary person and is not something
that people feel that they could
achieve, so getting an HDC house
is really good," Chan-Ramsaran
Her husband is a taxidriver and
she said the HDC has a long list
of criteria one must meet in order
to get a house.
"They want to see what your
salary is, where you work, if you
already own property and a lot of
other things. Two years ago I did
not get through, this time I am
hoping for the best," she said.
Hopeful home owner to be Susan Mahadeo, left, speaks to Housing Development Corporation (HDC) CSR
Sade Harry while going through her interview package at the HDC's Port-of-Spain head office yesterday.
Mahadeo is one of the 500 people selected through a random draw recently. PHOTO: JEFF MAYERS
Pros and cons
to method used
HDC lottery winners admit...
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