Robinson-Regis: Government looks to small, medium contractors

The content originally appeared on: News Americas Now

Black Immigrant Daily News

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

Housing and Urban Development Minister Camille Robinson-Regis speaks at the HDC’s key-distribution ceremony in Edinburgh 500 on Monday. Photo by Marvin Hamilton

HOUSING and Urban Development Minister Camille Robinson-Regis said her ministry continues to keep faith in small and medium contractors, as it continues to seek partnerships with the private sector to satisfy the housing demand.

She made this comment when she addressed a Housing Development Corporation (HDC) key-distribution ceremony in Edinburgh 500 on Monday.

Public-private sector partnerships (PPPs) are not new to TT, going as far back as the establishment of PowerGen in 1994.

Compared to its predecessor governments, Robinson-Regis said, “This administration has made it (PPPs) a necessary feature of several discussions at various levels.

In terms of housing, there are PPPs with NH International and the Furness Group of Companies to build houses in Mt Hope and San Fernando respectively.

Robinson-Regis said, “The HDC is also very open into entering into similar type partnerships with any private sector organisation willing to invest in TT.”

She was optimistic there would be positive responses from potential investors after a recent housing symposium the ministry hosted.

“The HDC will always have time for the many small and medium contractors who have stayed with us through thick and thin, during good times and bad.”

Over time, Robinson-Regis said the HDC has engaged approximately 73 small and medium contractors who have constructed 209 housing units at a cost of $92 million.

HDC managing director Jaysanne McFarlane said approximately 240 families have benefited from the HDC’s Home for Christmas initiative. She hoped initiatives such as this will show the HDC is a more agile yet compassionate organisation.

Robinson-Regis reminded her audience about three loans totalling $1.5 billion to the HDC, which Finance Minister Colm Imbert announced in the 2022/2023 budget in the House of Representatives on September 26.

Imbert said $ 500 million will fund the completion of stalled or existing housing projects, $500 million will be used for the payments of debts owed to contractors and suppliers and a further $500 million will be used for the construction of new housing units.

Robinson-Regis said the HDC has already received the one of those $500 million loans.

She also reminded her audience about plans to divide the HDC into three subsidiary companies

(TT HDC Construction Company, TT Housing Corporation Facilities Management Company Ltd. TT HDC Asset Management Company Ltd) to improve its efficiency.

Minister in the Ministry of Housing Adrian Leonce agreed with Robinson-Regis about the mutual respect that the HDC and the private sector have for each other.

He said communities such as Edinburgh 500 were an example of that.

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