Project Officer with the HNUP, Moreen Bowen, chatting with a prospective client at the??re-launch of the Incremental Home Construction Programme??on Saturday. (C. Pitt/BGIS)

A drive by the Ministry of Housing and Lands to assist low-income homeowners to spruce up their dwellings has generated "much interest".

This was obvious last Saturday as a large number of Barbadians turned out at the Emerald City Car Park, St. Philip, for the re-launch of the Ministry’s Incremental Home Construction Programme (IHCP).

Project Officer for the Housing and Neighbourhood Upgrading Programme (HNUP), Moreen Bowen said, "so far the feedback has been extremely positive, as persons came and sought to find out what would be required of them when applying to the programme."

Admitting that the project, which was originally launched last year, did not meet with "initial success" due to the financial requirements for applicants, the Project Officer pointed out that Government had now reduced financing from 30 per cent to 10 per cent, as well as allowed applicants to obtain quotations for their proposed projects from the building material supplier of their choice.

Stressing it was necessary to generate greater awareness about the programme, Ms. Bowen said more persons could benefit now that the funding requirement had been significantly reduced.

"In the two upcoming marketing drives, we hope that even more persons would come out.?? We will be going to the General Post Office this Saturday, May 14, from 9:00 a.m. to noon, and the following Saturday, May 21 we will be heading to Super Centre Warrens, from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. So, we hope that persons will apply to the programme and take advantage of the 600 subsidies that are going to be available and more importantly to let people know it is not a loan, they do not need to repay," she underscored.

She further added that IHCP was not for persons looking to purchase a home, but for existing homeowners who wanted to make minor repairs such as tiling, installation of doors, windows, partitions, among other things.

"Right now at the Ministry we are focusing on the incremental but we are also working in partnership with the National Housing Corporation with the Starter Homes Programme," the Project Officer assured.??

Under the Incremental Home Construction Programme, individuals with homes requiring minor repairs can now access some BDS$ 10,000.?? The IHCP is a sub-component of the Housing and Neighbourhood Upgrading Programme of the Ministry of Housing and Lands.


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