ON JULY 24, a total of 140 tenants who have been renting from the Housing Development Corporation (HDC) for the last 30 years will officially become homeowners as they will all receive the deeds to the units they have been occupied all these years.
The cost of each unit will only be $100 and it is in keeping with a recent promise made by Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar, Housing Minister Dr Roodal Moonilal said yesterday at the “I’ll Take You There” housing distribution ceremony at Fairfield Estate, Princes Town. HDC has so far identified 1,047 tenants who met the qualification to own their units.
Moonilal said: “The prime minister announced just a few months ago a very innovative programmed to hand over HDC units to those persons who have been in rental agreements with the HDC for 30 years or more. We began to work speedily after she announced that policy decision .”
The deed handing over ceremony will be “small but significant,” Moonilal stated as he went on to remind persons of the July 8th, random draw for houses for persons who applied for housing for 15 years and more.
Yesterday’s ceremony which was also attended by Member of Parliament Nela Khan, marked the 17th week of distribution of 100 homes per week — so far 1,700 homes have been given out by the HDC. Those present all collected their keys for their new homes.
Speaking to reporters following the ceremony Moonilal said while the weekly home distribution has gone smoothly and he himself has been present to hand over the keys to new homeowners, he is not to sure it will continue. He said he may now have to shift his focus to the campaign trail in the lead up to the September 7 general election.
Moonilal said: “I am hoping even if I am not attending these meetings and the distribution, I have asked the HDC to continue the 100 houses a week programme even in my absence because as we get more and more into our campaign I am not too sure if I myself will be available to be doing this every week.” He said he has a lot of campaigning to do.
The board of directors is still in place and after September 7 the distribution will continue every single week with 100 houses per week programme, Moonilal told reporters.
Questioned on the presence of former ILP Deputy Political Leader back on the UINC platform, Moonilal said she was welcome just as anyone else into the fold as he noted that she had spoken on her own volition and also written her own speech.
He added: “She has indicated she has much more to say and we look forward to hearing her on the platform or media as she may choose.”
He said Deonarine is committed and her talent is one that will be utilised in the party.
Moonilal said all coalition partners will be putting forward electoral candidates and he remains confident that a “dazzling team of aspirational and inspirational candidates” will be assembled by the screening committee for the September 7 showdown.