Speaking at the official launch of the programme at Agostini Building, Port-of-Spain, Ministry of Housing, Land and Marine Affairs, Dr Roodal Moonilal said the economic impact of the programme would be immense.
“It would involve a sum of $500 million for the first phase, which would be converted to billions of dollars given the multiplier effect. We will generate thousands of jobs in the construction industry, both for infrastructure development, and for home construction.”
The programme, which would see to the distribution of state-owned lands, is due to begin in January 2013, with approximately 200 plots of land to be distributed by February.
The Minister said the lots are reserved specifically for the “landless poor” and would be provided with road access, water, electricity, drainage and provision for sewage disposal.
However, while the land will not be free of charge, Moonilal noted that it would be available to applicants far below market value; at approximately$50,000.
The Minister said work has already begun on preparing eight sites, including Moruga, Diego Martin, Golconda, Princes Town and Couva. Another eight sites has also been earmarked for commencement by 2013.
For a family to qualify for the programme their total monthly income of must not exceed $8,000. For applicants whose total monthly income is $3,000 or below, a concrete foundation will be provided, as well.
Elaborating on the programme, Moonilal noted that the financing of loans would be facilitated by the Trinidad and Tobago Mortgage Finance (TTMF), at subsidised rates to households or applicants who meet the criteria.
Moonilal also expressed hope that the programme would foster a revival in family and community values as it is expected to “channel the drive, creativity and energy of citizens and residents of the country into building homes for themselves, thereby reviving family and community values