Robinson-Regis: No politics in home improvement grants

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

Minister of Housing and Urban Development Camille Robinson-Regis presents a grant for home improvement to Reena Sookram-Saroop at the Pleasantville community centre on Wednesday. –

HOUSING and Urban Development Minister Camille Robinson-Regis said there is no politics involved in the distribution of home improvement grants.

She made this point during a distribution ceremony for 100 of these grants at the Pleasantville Community Centre on Wednesday.

Robinson-Regis, who is also Arouca South MP and PNM lady vice-chairman, said that many of the PNM’s political opponents like to claim the party does nothing to help ordinary citizens and that all of its actions are designed to win votes in the next general election.

“This government is about the people of TT.”

Concerning the grants, each worth $15,000, Robinson-Regis said, “I give the assurance today that political affiliation is not one of the criteria (to receive a grant).”

She added that the PNM believes all citizens deserve a share of the national pie.

In 2022-2023, Robinson-Regis said the ministry distributed $11.4 million in grants.

She said when Finance Minister Colm Imbert presented the 2023/2024 budget in the House of Representatives on September 26, he allocated a further $12 million to the ministry for these grants.

Robinson-Regis said the grants being distributed on Wednesday were the first tranche of grants from this funding.

She added that the grants have knock-on effects of creating jobs for tradesmen and generating revenue for small businesses by recipients who want to upgrade their homes.

Robinson-Regis also said encouraging homeowners to improve their homes reduces the demands on the ministry for the construction of new homes.

She said this initiative had its genesis in 2004 under then-prime minister Patrick Manning.

San Fernando Mayor Robert Parris said initiatives like these were close to Manning’s heart as San Fernando East MP.

Minister in the Ministry of Housing and Urban Development Adrian Leonce said he was grateful to be part of an administration which shows genuine care for people. Leonce urged recipients to make the best use of their grants.