Cabinet, on February 22, approved the National Housing Policy, paving the way for the Ministry of Physical Planning and Infrastructure Development, through the Housing and Renewal Department to sprint ahead with its affordable housing agenda.
Under this Policy, the Housing and Community Renewal Department will seek to offer safe and affordable housing which government deem a basic necessity for every family. The government noted that with the approval of the policy, it would now be able to provide better access to adequate shelter, affordable accommodation and housing options throughout the Turks and Caicos Islands.
The National Housing Policy, the Hon. Jamell Robinson-run PPID Ministry said, includes various programs and initiatives aimed at addressing the housing needs within these islands under four categories: Social and Equitable Housing; First Time Owners; Existing Homeowners; and Community Renewal Programs.
The approval of the Policy outlines the various programs that the Department will be implementing in three phases: short-term (6 months-1 Year), medium-term (1-3 Years) and long-term (3-5 Years).
In the coming months, the Housing Department said it will be executing three programs as a start. They are:
· Program 1 - Housing Concessions for Residential Developers;
· Program 2 -Home Improvement Programs; and
· Program 3 - Community Urban Renewal and Infilling.
Commenting on the approval of the Housing Policy, Hon. Robinson said: "After some 20 months of hard work and engagement by the many stakeholder, including the Department of Housing and Ministry personnel, I am pleased for us to have taken this major step in finding a workable solution to our housing crisis within the Turks and Caicos Islands.
“The three outlined inaugural programs are much needed and timely. We will quickly finalise the implementation process followed by a formal launch for public consumption early next month.
“Contractors, Developers, Financial Institutions and those that desire to be first time home owners will be once again engaged to see how and where they can participate in and benefit from these programs."