Housing and Urban Development Minister, Dr Roodal Moonilal, has revealed that the sod turning for the first public/private partnership in the housing construction sector would be undertaken in San Fernando within the next few weeks.
Moonilal was addressing the 13th week of the HDC’s key distribution ceremony at the Corporation’s Mc Gilvary Street, San Fernando yesterday.
“We cannot stop building, we cannot stop at all and in a couple of weeks, we will come back to San Fernando, Marlene, [Coudray], where the honourable Prime Minister will join us for the sod turning for construction of apartments at Carlton Lane, in San Fernando where we are doing the first private/ public sector partnership, with Republic Bank, to construct housing with private money,” Moonilal said.
Saying the HDC possessed a “homes and programme for homes” until December 31, 2015, Moonilal also noted that the Corporation had already a further 10 new residential sites for the construction of approximately 15,000 housing units should the People’s Partnership Administration be given another 5-year term in office.
“It is an exciting future in housing and building is important,” he said, adding options such as using monies from the private sector was being viewed as another option to satisfy the demand for housing. Moonilal also reminisced on his unbroken five-year term as Housing Minister saying he had encountered requests for housing units from Trinidadians while on overseas trips.
One such incident, which left the audience in stitches, occurred at a hotel in New York City several years ago when an attendant from the hotel knocked on his hotel door, inquired whether he was the ‘Minister of Housing from Trinidad’ and had then informed him that his daughter had applied for a housing unit over 10 years ago.
‘And this was after I had called the front desk and had asked whether they had panadol because I wasn’t feeling well,’ he said.
He said a ‘special lottery’ was being carded closer to Independence Day for those persons who had waited over 15 years for a housing unit.
Meanwhile, Local Government Minister, Marlene Coudray, who also serves as the UNC’s coordinator for the Point Fortin constituency, advised those persons fro Point Fortin who had applied for housing units, to be patient saying a ‘lot of funds’ had been spent on correcting defects at a housing estate in Point Fortin.