Clifton Towers in Port-of-Spain.

The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) has approved a US$50 million (TT$338 million) loan to improve the living conditions of low-income households and invest in urban spaces.

A statement from the Planning Ministry said this initiative will result in sites being upgraded from Sangre Grande to Diego Martin, urban regeneration in both Port-of-Spain and Scarborough and the strengthening of the housing sector.

The initiative will also directly support more than 3,500 households to affordably improve their housing conditions with a special focus on assisting low-income families, the ministry added.

The Urban Upgrading and Revitalisation Program is part of the Government’s strategy to foster more sustainable development and is directly aligned with the Vision 2030 National Development Strategy for Trinidad and Tobago under Theme III, Putting People First; Nurturing our Greatest Asset.

The programme is the fourth successive IDB-financed housing and urban development operation in T&T and it includes several elements among them the incorporation of green-building and infrastructure technologies, which will see climate change adaptation and mitigation features included.

An urban regeneration element will also promote the transformation of urban spaces with an emphasis on encouraging sustainable use and increasing their aesthetic attractiveness and resilience, the ministry said.

Another element, it added, will result in households being linked with potential private finance opportunities to better their housing conditions.

The IDB’s very first housing project in T&T was in 1968 and from the 1990s onwards support to this sector has seen over 18,000 families benefit from our work with the Government, said Rocío Medina-Bolívar, Country Representative for the IDB Group in T&T.

“We are committed to supporting the Government’s ongoing efforts to improve the lives of its citizens and transform its urban spaces to enhance their physical quality and improve economic performance,” she added.

Similar to the most recent IDB-financed housing operation completed in 2017, the programme will be executed by the Ministry of Housing and will be done over a period of six years.

The repayment term will be 24 years with a grace period of six and a half years and an interest rate based on LIBOR (the London Inter-bank Offered Rate).