MINISTER of the People and Social Development Dr Glenn Ramadharsingh said yesterday that the problems with homeless people living on the streets began during the previous administration.
Ramadharsingh held an emergency press conference at his constituency office in Freeport yesterday to discuss the findings of the Central Statistical Office's (CSO) report on Trinidad and Tobago's Population and Housing Census.
The report found that there has been a 13 per cent increase in the number of people living on the streets since the last survey was done in 2000.
Ramadharsingh said the increase in homelessness is a reflection of the situation over the last ten years, and not the last two, during the tenure of the People's Partnership Government.
"Poverty eradication, social inclusion and social justice remain a major cornerstone of my Ministry," said Ramadharsingh.
He said last November discussions were held with major stakeholders, including mayors and several non-governmental organisations, to deal with the socially displaced.
He said, to date, 37 people were removed from the streets voluntarily.
For those who are yet to be removed, legislation is before the Law Reform Commission to address the issue, he said.
Ramadharsingh said those who have been removed are housed at the Piparo Empowerment Centre, while a similar facility on Queen Street, Port of Spain is being prepared.