Prospective home owners, particularly low-income families are being urged to access the $10,000 grants available under Government’s Housing Every Last Person (HELP) Programme and the Incremental Home Construction Programme (IHCP).
Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Housing and Lands, Ronald Bascombe, stated that the response towards the subsidies offered "has been less than favourable".
Disclosing that only 32 persons out of the 400 available subsidies qualified for the New Homes Programme, and 43 for the Incremental Home Construction Programme, Mr. Bascombe urged others to make use of the grants and to call the Housing and Neighbour Upgrade Programme’s Project Office at the Ministry of Housing and Lands at 620-3621/30/36 for further information.
He said under the HELP programme, prospective home owners could apply to receive assistance of up to BDS$10,000, which is available through the New Homes Programme (NHP), a sub-component of the (HNUP).
Stating that the programme was currently under review, the Permanent Secretary pointed out that efforts were currently being made to make the application and approval process less bureaucratic for the likely beneficiaries of the programme.
He continued: "The NHP sub-component, which is valued at a cost of BDS $4 million, will provide 400 subsidies to low-income families applying for housing solutions under the HELP Programme."
Mr. Bascombe said that in addition to grants being available under Government’s HELP programme, individuals, namely those from low-income families whose homes required minor repairs, could receive assistance up to the tune of BDS $10,000.
He explained that through the IHCP, which is also a sub-component of the HNUP, 600 subsidies totalling BDS $6 million would be allocated to low-income families.
"The subsidies allocated will allow families to undertake minor repairs or renovations, including tiling and installation of doors, windows, partitions, cupboards, and closets to their homes, and can represent a maximum of $10, 000 or 90 per cent of the project costs," Mr. Bascombe explained.
HNUP is a BDS $80 million programme which is funded by the Government of Barbados and the Inter-American Development Bank.