The Housing Unit within the Ministry of Agriculture, Trade, Lands, Housing and the Environment, has received funding support for the implementation of housing initiatives under the social housing programme.
The Ministry announced today that it was able to secure funds through the Department for International Development (DFID) to construct four-two bedroom homes; three located in Davy Hill and one in Look Out. The announcement was made during a housing tour organised by the Ministry of Agriculture, Trade, Lands, Housing and the Environment.
The Hon. Minister with responsibility for Housing, David Osborne said the housing needs for the people of Montserrat has always been a priority for him and his Ministry. He said, â€œWe have had problems with housing for years and when I took up the portfolio my team and I decided that we must address these issues.â€
Having secured the funds for the two bedroom units, the Ministry is now inviting individuals to submit tenders for the construction process, which is expected to begin in January, 2018. The tender details can be obtained on www.gov.ms/tenders. The Ministry is also working on completing designs for approval to construct three and four bedroom houses.
During the Housing Tour today, it was also disclosed that additional funds have been secured to provide relief to persons whose homes sustained damages due to hurricane Maria. The Housing Unit said the assistance being offered under the hurricane relief funds will target 20 of the neediest households.
Meantime, the 1.3 million dollars allocated for the Ministryâ€™s Housing Assistance Programme has been released and is expected to benefit forty-six (46) households. These initiatives include the Material Grants; Standard Financial Grants; Home Improvement and Home Finishing Grants, which are aimed at improving the standard of living for persons on Montserrat.
In addition to these initiatives, the Ministry is also partnering with the Land Development Authority (LDA) for â€˜New Direct Buildâ€™ houses. Minister Osborne said, â€œWe are now in the process of looking at a project with LDA in Davy Hill to construct direct build houses on 10 lots.â€
Reflecting on these housing accomplishments, Mr. Osborne said, â€œThis is a great feat and has been in the process for a number of years, but we are now able to deliver it.â€
The Material Grants project will provide a standard conditional grant of $40,000 in building materials to qualified households for the purpose of constructing new build homes or to complete those stuck in the early stages of construction. Standard Financial Grants provides financial assistance to promote the spread of homeownership on Montserrat. It involves the provision of a conditional grant of $40,000 to assist qualified households in acquiring or constructing a decent permanent home.
The Home Improvement programme is designed to assist vulnerable households in carrying out essential repairs, refurbishment work and/or finishing work to a dwelling under construction.
The Home Finishing Grants offer some relief to households that are unable to bring their homes to a stage of practical completion. The type of assistance offered under this scheme will be the provision of construction/building materials equivalent to a sum not exceeding EC$25,000.
These housing initiatives are part of the Ministryâ€™s drive to improve and provide adequate housing solutions for people on Montserrat thereby encouraging sustainable development.