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Trinidad and Tobago to improve living conditions for low-income families

Trinidad and Tobago will improve the living conditions of more than 50,000 people with a housing neighborhood upgrading project financed with a $40 million loan from the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB).

The program will regularize the tenure of property for families living in squatter settlements; and provide subsidies for home improvements and construction of new housing.

The IDB loan will finance the upgrading of eligible squatter settlements, including the provision of basic urban infrastructure accompanied by community development and land regularization.

An estimated 5,360 families in 25 existing squatter settlements are expected to benefit from the project within six years and at least 8,477 tenants will have their property titles regularized. The project will provide subsidies for as many as 2,000 eligible families to finance home improvements. Another 1,530 households will receive subsidies to purchase or build new incremental housing.

Finally, this project backed by the IDB will also improve the institutional capacity of the Ministry of Housing and the Environment. It will finance the development of a containment strategy and an information system to monitor and prevent new illegal land occupations and control the expansion of existing squatter settlements.

The IDB loan is for a 25-year term, with a 6-year grace period and an interest rate based on LIBOR. Local counterpart financing will total $10 million. The Ministry of Housing and the Environment together with the Land Settlement Agency will carry out the program.