Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : June 16th 2013 Contents A12
Sunday Guardian www.guardian.co.tt June 16, 2013
The Housing Development
Corporation (HDC) is moving to
reclaim unoccupied houses from
people who have either migrated,
died or lives elsewhere.
The HDC intends to seek the
intervention of Attorney General
Anand Ramlogan to seize vacant
single unit houses, apartments,
town houses and condominiums
which Housing Minister Dr Roodal
Moonilal said will be distributed
to people who are in dire need of
With the demand for housing
far outweighing supply, Moonilal
said as soon as HDC appoints its
new board, chaired by Rabindra
Moonan, this matter will be dealt
On Wednesday, Moonilal said
the HDC was aware of several
unoccupied houses in central and
south Trinidad, which they are
seeking to take control of.
Moonilal said some of the homes
in question have not been pur-
chased from HDC, while paper
work for others could not be found
by its legal department.
It was also discovered that some
homeowners had either willed the
property to a relative or friend who
could not be contacted.
"In some housing areas people
may have entered into a relation-
ship with the HDC over the years
and never moved into the house,"
He listed a number of reasons
for not occupying a house---among
them death, migration or the
owner lives at another location.
Other reasons were lack of water
and electricity connections on the
be given ultimatum
Moonilal said the PNM was lax
in the way in which it distributed
"You see names on a database
at the HDC but you cannot contact
these people. You don t know who
they are or where they are."
In the coming weeks, the HDC
will publish in the press the names
of these homeowners.
Moonilal said the homeowners
whom they contact will be given
an ultimatum---move in or the
Government will confiscate the
"I intend to discuss a pro-
gramme with the Attorney General,
Anand Ramlogan and the incoming
board where we can take back
these empty houses and reclaim
"We will take back houses where
we have no proper record of per-
sons purchasing or have not occu-
pied those homes."
Asked how many houses were
unoccupied, Moonilal said the
HDC was in the process of tallying
"We don t have a comprehensive
In the event that the homeowner
claims ownership of the property,
Moonilal said the HDC will relocate
them to another housing devel-
"We will give them an alterna-
He said the HDC has no inten-
tion of depriving someone of a
Moonilal said most of the infor-
mation the HDC had acquired on
the unoccupied houses had been
compiled by members of the pub-
"The best people who know
about these unoccupied houses
are citizens. When someone is des-
perate for a house it affects
them...they drive by and see hous-
"They draw maps of where these
unoccupied houses can be found
and come to see us. It is inhumane
to a certain extent that people can-
not get a house and to pass and
see houses abandoned."
The legal procedure to reclaim
the houses, Moonilal said, will not
cost the State much.
on Caroni lands
Ten years after the closure of
Caroni 1975 Ltd, the HDC is mov-
ing to utilise some of the lands for
housing. Caroni 1975 Ltd has some
75,000 acres of land.
In the coming weeks, Moonilal
said, the HDC will look at a com-
prehensive housing development
programme to construct between
80,000 to 100,000 homes by
Moonilal said the HDC will be
working with the Ministry of Plan-
ning and Sustainable Development
to create new towns, cities and
residential areas throughout the
HDC will also partner with the
private sector to get the houses
completed in a timely fashion.
Within the next three months,
Moonilal said he expects a proposal
from the HDC s board on this ini-
"I believe we can fully utilise
the Caroni land bank that we
inherited because of the closure
of Caroni 1975 Ltd. That land bank
can generate 80 to 100,000 hous-
ing units. We are looking at that."
Moonilal said the HDC will build
town houses, apartments and con-
dominiums, rather than single family
units, given the limited land space.
When will housing shortage be a
thing of the past?
Moonilal said in seven to ten years
as they work out a novel infrastructure
HDC to reclaim unoccupied houses
• Continues on Page A13
The HDC constructs 5,000 start-up homes and distributes 1,500
units every year.
However, Moonilal said a survey showed that the HDC needs to
construct 7,000 homes and distribute 5,000 annually.
"This cannot be done by HDC alone. It's impossible, given the
resources and institutional challenges."
In the 2013 budget, the Ministry of Housing received $1.2 billion.
Some of the areas targeted for housing developments in 2013 are:
• East/West corridor.
• Expansion in Union Hall, San Fernando, La Horquetta, Debe, South
Among the areas awaiting distribution:
• Victoria Keyes
• Egypt Village
• Union Hall
• Princes Town
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