Finance Minister Colm Imbert says government plans to spend $100 million for the construction of 600 houses in 26 areas for vulnerable people.
This project will done through the Housing and Village Improvement Programme, which involves giving the houses to such people for free.
During Friday’s Senate debate on the 2024 Budget, Imbert said one of the most important aspects of the Housing Ministry’s work for 2024 is the Housing and Village Improvement Programme. The programme, Imbert said, was started in Moruga and was championed by Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley.
Imbert added, “There was a village in Moruga where people were living in quite impoverished conditions in board houses and the vision of the Prime Minister at the time was to convert those board houses into concrete structures and that was the birth of the Housing and Village Improvement Programme.
“What it does is that it creates for someone—obviously underprivileged and vulnerable families because clearly, this for the people at the lowest end of the income spectrum—but what it does is it takes somebody who’s living in a board house in quite unsanitary conditions and gives them free of charge … this is not a situation where the person has to put out any money.
He added: “It gives these vulnerable families, free of charge, a two-bedroom concrete starter house complete with all facilities—internal plumbing, proper arrangements and so on.”
Imbert added, “So it lifts the person out of an underprivileged situation and gives them a brand new concrete structure which they can then develop.
“We’ve allocated $100 million to this programme and we expect to construct 600 of these starter house in 2024 in 26 areas throughout the country.
“The cost of the houses is only between $150,000 and $175,000, whereas in the past, previous administrations were building HDC houses for one and a half million dollars. We are able to build a two-bedroom modern concrete house for these underprivileged people for $150,000—believe it or not.”