On Tuesday May 19, twenty-two (22) individuals were elated as they finally received their allocation documents via an abridged Housing Distribution Ceremony. These families were processed and scheduled to receive their allocation packages right before the Stay At Homes measures were implemented in March but that process was postponed due to the measures. The distributions were conducted at the Point Fortin Borough Hall and at the San Fernando office of the Trinidad and Tobago Housing Development Corporation (HDC).
In an effort to adhere to physical distancing guidelines, Housing and Urban Development Minister Edmund Dillon and officials distributed packages to ten (10) individuals who arrived at pre-determined times to receive their documents at the Borough Hall. The remaining twelve (12) individuals were given scheduled times at which to collect packages from the San Fernando office. Present to witness the ceremony, which was carried live on the HDC’s Facebook and YouTube platforms, was Mayor of the Point Fortin Borough, Kennedy Richards Jnr and HDC Managing Director, Brent Lyons. The recipients were allocated homes in Lake View, Point Fortin, and Hubertstown, Guapo.
According to the Minister, the Public Service is an essential service and the Government has continued offering core services in many sectors. While some agencies are on the frontline, providing essential services and financial support, others like the HDC are trying to ensure that it continues its housing allocation mandate in a seamless manner, while adhering to the health and safety protocols. He added, “I am sure that these individuals and families who received their documents today are happy that they are now closer to being in their own homes.”
In commenting on this new approach to the distribution ceremonies, HDC Managing Director, Brent Lyons indicated “the HDC has been adjusting and finding ways to adapt to the ‘new normal’. For this particular activity, we tried to fulfill our mandate and honour our commitment to these individuals and families while adhering to the measures as they relate to proper hygiene, wearing of masks and physical distancing.”
Over the last two weeks, the HDC has been preparing its offices for the ‘new normal” through the implementation of new measures, which are intended to protect the safety and well-being of staff and clients. Some of the measures include (but are not limited to) the installation of sinks at the main entrance, use of hand-held thermo scanners, wearing of masks by all those entering the building, physical distancing in the lobby, markings to guide queues and physical distancing in other shared spaced within the building. Guidelines and protocols have also been implemented for our housing construction sites and for staff members who conduct home visits and home repairs.