While parliamentarians in Trinidad grapple with increasing demand for public housing, Tobago is moving towards affordable and sustainable public housing for their 7500 applicants.
Prime Minister Keith Rowley on Tuesday, said that people have been saying they want a house, with the same tone and approach as “I want a hops bread”, not realising that a house is an expensive item.
Rowley was speaking at the sod-turning for the “River-Runs-Through” housing estate Arima, when he made the statements.
Meanwhile, Tobago House of Assembly Secretary of Settlements and Labour Deon Isaac, has announced that the THA will no longer construct public housing costing more than $500,000.
Constructing and subsidizing housing at high cost is not sustainable, Isaac said.
He was speaking during the opening of a model unit for alternative house construction, at Kilgwyn Development Bon Accord on Monday.
That unit costs $485,000 and took three months to construct.
Instead of brick and mortar, the unit has a steel frame, and is built with materials such as gypsum, which are more economical.
The unit is also safe and durable, able to withstand a Category Four hurricane.
“The Assembly just cannot continue to maintain this high housing subsidy considering the economic challenges that our country and this island are facing and will continue to face”, Isaac said.
He also noted that the alternative housing prototype will help improve the quality of Tobago’s housing stock, offering homeowners three bedrooms, a kitchen, living room, porch, and bathroom.