by Linda Straker
- Housing Assistance Programme provides materials to vulnerable and marginalised homeowners
- Audit conducted because of wastage identified by new Government
- EC$5 million allocated in 2022 budget
The Dickon Mitchell administration is conducting an audit of the Housing Assistance Programme in the Ministry of Social Development, Housing, and Community Empowerment.
Under that programme, hundreds of vulnerable and marginalised homeowners received assistance to repair homes. Materials were provided to the unemployed and people working for under $1,500 a month, and applicants over 60 received materials as a grant.
Phillip Telesford, who became the Social Development Minister on 30 June 2022, disclosed that the Department of Audit is to conduct the audit because of the wastage identified by the new Government. “We also took a study of what was happening in the system with a view to saving as much as possible and ensuring that materials get to those who really do need it; and we recognise that in some areas there has been some serious wastage,” he said during the Government’s news conference on Tuesday, 13 September 2022.
“As a matter of fact, as we speak, an audit is being conducted because of the amount of wastage we have seen,” he said, confirming the review period of the auditors. “An audit of this nature usually spans the last 5 years…and if there is something that really jumps out, a trend or something, then the auditors may choose to roll back the curtain a few more years to see what is happening.”
The 2022 budget statement shows EC$5 million allocated for the Housing Assistance Programme. In 2021 only EC$3,209,675 was spent from the same amount allocated. The Grenada Home Improvement Scheme had an allocation of EC$10 million, while the Soft Loan Housing Project had EC$4 million for the year 2022.