Date when Habitat started working in the country
Individuals served in FY18
Volunteers hosted in FY18
Habitat for Humanity in Trinidad & Tobago
Since 1997, Habitat Trinidad and Tobago has provided shelter solutions and served individuals through housing initiatives (UN Household Data), credit management training, basic construction techniques and disaster risk reduction programs.
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The housing need in Trinidad & Tobago
The government’s Ministry of Housing estimates that some 200,000 people live in informal settlements, approximately 19 percent of the population; the waiting list for government subsidized housing is approximately 107,000 people, some waiting for up to 25 years. The main housing demand stems from inequity and population growth.
Habitat's contribution in Trinidad & Tobago
Habitat Trinidad & Tobago partners with donor entities, government and private agencies, civil society organizations and individual citizens to promote access to government subsidies for construction, land, and housing for low-income families, reducing the country’s housing de cit. We also support disaster risk reduction and recovery locally and in the English-speaking Caribbean.
The average Habitat house in Trinidad and Tobago measures 27 x 21 square feet. Monthly mortgage payments over a 30-year period averages TT$700 (approx. US$100), which represents a much more affordable cost than the average rent in the local real estate market. Habitat houses are built using the culturally preferred materials for construction – two and three-bedroom concrete blocks and galvanized roofs, pre-engineered steel frames with concrete boards and occasionally treated wood. We also offer microloan opportunities to potential homeowners for repairs, renovations and completions to homes.
Habitat Trinidad and Tobago raises funds to provide housing solutions for some of the most vulnerable and marginalized communities in the country, as well as for post-disaster recovery projects in the English- speaking Caribbean region. We receive donations of money, materials and in-kind gifts, which support our shelter and training programs. With our no-profit policy, Habitat is often the only option available to low-income families, outside of specially-targeted government subsidy programs.
Meet a Habitat family
Kathy Ann has been in the Habitat for Humanity system since 2009. Her husband, Ellery, is a physically challenged pensioner who suffers from hearing and speech impairments. He adores his wife, and is loud in his praise for her resilience and cheerful attitude to life.
Kathy Ann shared some words with us:
“I have known about Habitat for Humanity for a long time! I remember watching an Oprah Winfrey show in 2005, talking about Jon Bon Jovi building a house with Habitat for Humanity, and I know about President Carter’s work with the organization.
“I was born in San Fernando and we lived in various parts of Trinidad and Tobago throughout my childhood. I was injured in a car accident in 1974 – I was thrown from the vehicle and my spine was damaged. Because of that I was unable to walk very far, or stand for long periods of time. In 2012, the floor gave away under my feet and I fell, aggravating the old injury. Now I use a wheelchair when I can, but I am mostly con ned to this bed. I cannot walk unaided, and it takes me a good few minutes for my husband to help me outside.
“I would love to build the house closer to the front of the property, so that I can get into the wheelchair and maybe sit outside in the sun, in a little garden someday.
“The difference that a home makes in a life is almost indescribable. Safety, security, love, hope for the future, all of that comes with a good healthy place to live.
“It was such a shock to learn that only women would be working on my house. Ladies, I was speechless to know that you will all be helping me. Hurray for Women Power! I’m a bit shy, but I want to say I am so grateful for the love and support. Thank you all for taking the time out of your schedule to help someone like me.”
What can you do?
We build strength, stability and confidence. You can help us with those actions:
We accept online donations at our website is www.habitat-tt.org-now
We accept tax deductible donations through wire transfers. Please contact our Resource Development Officer at: [email protected] for our details.
To learn more about Habitat’s projects in Trinidad & Tobago, please contact:
Jennifer Massiah / National Director
You can also write to [email protected]