christmas present: Housing Minister Dr Roodal Moonilal hands over keys to little Jenniah Sutherland for her family's new home at Oropune Gardens, Piarco, during a presentation of keys ceremony to public officers under the Public Services Association (PSA) held at the association's building in Port of Spain yesterday. Looking on, from left, are Jenniah's parents, Carlton and Wendy, her sister Hadassah and PSA president Watson Duke. —Photo ANISTO ALVES

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Moonilal: 3,600 houses delivered in 2011-2012

By Renuka Singh

The Housing Development Corporation has delivered three houses per day for 2012, according to Housing Minister Dr Roodal Moonilal.

Moonilal was speaking at a ceremony to hand out keys to public servants at the Public Services Association (PSA) office on Abercromby Street, Port of Spain, yesterday.

"I have made sweeping but necessary changes to the way in which we housed our people. Low-cost housing or housing for the low income does not mean unattractive housing. It does not mean housing without thought for the environment, it certainly must not mean housing of a low or poor quality," he said.

Moonilal said the HDC has already delivered 3,600 units for 2011-2012 and has begun new projects.

"An unprecedented 6,000 new housing starts in south, central, east and Tobago, representing a sizeable investment in state housing," Moonilal said.

He said over this past year, his Ministry took an "honest look" at areas that required improvement.

Moonilal called for closer collaboration among the stakeholders including the government, the construction industry and the public sector.

"We must ensure that our industry has the skill to deliver, consequently we will continue to put in time and resources to develop the capacity and capability of our building professionals," he said.

The Minister praised PSA president Watson Duke for including a housing aspect in his negotiations.

"He has been a very, very determined advocate and one of the more successful trade union leaders," Moonilal said.

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