Community ReportFeaturesNews

Access to affordable housing among the features of the 2021 budget

A menu of measures aimed at providing affordable access to homes was presented in the 2021 national budget which was tabled in the National Assembly earlier this month. Those measures would be complemented by the allocation of some 10,000 house lots in keeping with the government’s promise to provide 50,000 such lots for the next five years.

“We have raised the low-income ceiling for commercial loans from $10M – $12M, and increased the NBS ceiling from $12M – $15M,” Minister within the Housing Ministry Susan Rodrigues told the House on Monday, “in 2020 we increased the mortgage interest relief from $15 – $30M, all of these measures demonstrate a comprehensive approach not just to promote home-ownership, but to stimulate the economy and create jobs,” the Minister declared.

The government plans to construct some 1000 homes for low-income earners and young professionals the Minister told the House. And there are major plans to ensure that there is infrastructure for comfortable access to these homes. Some $3billion was allocated for infrastructural works in various regions, $1billion for the upgrading of roads, while $450 million was allocated for among other things, the supply and installation of LED Streetlights in existing housing schemes in various regions.

The Minister told the House too that the government is funding several programmes aimed at ensuring all gets potable water. The Coastal Water Supply Programme with $500 million will see the procurement and installation of water meters, the procurement of bulk meters at well sites and the procurement and installation of meter boxes.

“The budget provides $104 million for the procurement of service connection materials for 5,200 new services, we can look forward to wells in Wakenaam and Parika Backdam for which the budget has allocated a total sum of $100 million,” the Minister said.

Additionally, Budget 2021 provides $101mn for the expansion of the Water Treatment Plants at Sophia, Eccles, Covent Garden, Grove, Friendship and Vergenoegen, benefitting over 50,000 residents the Minister told the House.