The Ministry of Social development and Family Services has distributed 107 National Social Development Programme (NSDP) Grants for house repairs, house wiring and sanitary plumbing.
The grants which amount to a maximum of $15,000.00 for materials were distributed during a brief ceremony held at the Ministry’s Head Office in Port of Spain on Tuesday.
Among the recipients were also victims of natural and man-made disasters resulting from flood or fire.
In her welcoming address, Permanent Secretary at the Ministry, Jacqueline Johnson reminded those present of the criteria for the NSDP grants and noted that applicants must undergo a Standard Means Test and also have authorization to make repairs to the property.
Senator Donna Cox, during her keynote address expressed that she is quite hopeful that such intervention by the Ministry would contribute towards the eradication of poverty in Trinidad and Tobago. She said the distribution reaffirms Government’s commitment to the development and implementation of programmes and services that protect and assist the most vulnerable and marginalized individuals and groups in society.
The Minister further told the beneficiaries “This grant funding would facilitate the improvement of the physical conditions of homes, be it through minor structural repairs, improvement to sanitary plumbing, and electrical wiring installations or upgrades. Providing an opportunity for eligible citizens to improve substandard housing is one mechanism which can be used to enhance their standard of living and quality of life.”
Minister Cox recognized that there are families, who are considered to be below the basic poverty line and are indeed incapable of pursuing other traditional means of finance, for a number of reasons. As such, we at the Ministry of Social Development and Family Services, in all our efforts, have prioritized supporting such families, while at the same time empowering them to fulfil their role as the foundation of a caring and disciplined society. The grant funding which amounted to One Million, Four Hundred and Eighty-Two Thousand, and Fifteen Dollars ($1 482,015.11) will see One Hundred and Seven (107) vulnerable households benefitting from minor structural repairs and wiring to their homes, such as the roof and flooring, as well as sanitary plumbing for new or improved water supply and the construction of indoor washroom facilities.
Following the distribution, St Leo Henry, one of the recipients, expressed sincere gratitude to the Ministry for the assistance and looks forward to having his home wired for the first time.
Also present at the Ceremony were Permanent Secretaries, Jacqueline Johnson and Sheila Seecharan, Chief Technical Officer, Michael Reid and the Director of the NSDP.
The Ministry remains committed to addressing the social challenges of poverty, social inequality and social exclusion. Persons who wish to access this service and other Ministry initiatives and programmes are encouraged to visit the Ministry’s website: www.social.gov.tt and various social media platforms.