A Government Minister has called on key partnering institutions in the housing sector to continue their support towards housing solution projects of the Housing and Neighbourhood Upgrading Programme (HNUP), and Government’s overall objective of improving living conditions for low-income families.
The plea was made by Minister of Housing and Lands, Michael Lashley, as he addressed members of the business community and senior housing officials at the Home Buyers’ Education Seminar today at the National Housing Corporation.
Mr. Lashley noted that HNUP initiatives “can be viewed as complementary to Government’s vision for the housing sector, that is, to ‘fast-track’ the production of houses in Barbados through the 500 lots programme and the provision of 2000 housing solutions”.
According to him, “HNUP programmes will also seek to provide a ‘one-stop’ service to the targeted low and lower-middle income families in terms of financial assistance, which is a key factor in obtaining or renovating a home. Our key financial partners will include institutions like the Barbados Mortgage Finance, the General Workers Loan Fund and some credit unions and building material suppliers,” he said.
Seminar presenter, Executive Director of the British American Chamber of Commerce in Miami, Myrtle Alexander, identified key players in the housing sector as the Ministry of Education, hotels and lodgings, the Ministry of Finance, fast food and full-service restaurants, the Ministry of Transport and places of entertainment.
Ms. Alexander also stressed the importance of financial management as being “integral to successfully maintaining home ownership”. She observed that owning a home boosted the personal and social development of a country’s citizens.
“It fulfills an individual and family need. When these housing programmes are conveyed, a sense of pride is established in the community.”
The Government of Barbados and the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) officially signed a loan agreement for some US $30,000,000 on April 8 this year, to assist with the financing of the HNUP, whose main focus is to improve housing and neighbourhood conditions of low-income families and communities in Barbados.