The Trinidad and Tobago Olympic Committee headed by Brian Lewis has sent an official request to the Prime Minister copied to the Ministers of Housing and Sport in respect of the provision of homes for national athletes.
The Committee says it is of the firm view that consideration of expedited housing for athletes who have performed national service within a defined criteria is a matter requiring urgent attention.
The Committee told the Government ministers there should be in place a housing policy that rewards Trinidad and Tobago’s National Athletes for their long and meritorious national duty and service at Olympics, Para-Olympics and World Level Championships (Continental & Regional).
The idea of Housing Assistance for National athletes, the Olympic Committee said, is based on the reality that athletes who dedicate years of their youthful life to representing their country at Olympic and World level sport make tremendous sacrifices in respect of their careers, families, and income.
The athlete’s choice to dedicate himself/herself to National duty and service through sport ostensibly places athletes at a significant social and economic disadvantage, the Olympic Committtee says, a situation and a burden, the Olympic Committee stated must be addressed.
The Committee proposed that Athletes will be required to meet the Housing Development Corporation (HDC) mortgage criteria and will have to honour their mortgage obligations
The Committee told the Prime Minister that in the interest of the criteria remaining transparent, fair and accountable, the TTOC in conjunction with the respective National Sporting Organization’s (NSO) will clarify, confirm and recommend the athletes who deserve merit for their services to and for Trinidad and Tobago.
The Olympic Committee noted that one of the main purposes of providing housing assistance is to allow for a successful transition out of sport and back into the real world.
It told Government the programme will remove one less burden of providing a home for their family and ensure a sense of security when their careers have ended.
Saying that they have been advised that the HDC currently has a programme that guarantees expedited housing distribution to the members of our protective services, the TT Olympic Committee said it is proposing a similar policy for national athletes.