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Jun 17, 2015

Ministry of Housing Explores Social Housing Program

It’s been a while since we’ve heard of anything within the Ministry of Housing. Well, today they held a workshop in at the Biltmore where they met with partners with the aim of developing a social housing policy. It is expected that it will address a number of issues, including attracting funding for housing for low income families. C.E.O. Denton Belisle told us just how far reaching this policy will be for Belize.

 

Denton Belisle, C.E.O., Ministry of Housing

“This work shop is supposed to be the first step in what we hope will be the elaboration of a comprehensive national policy on social housing for Belize. What this workshop intends to do is to set the institutional framework and also will get the commitment of the stakeholders in the housing sector to commit to the development of this policy. Belize has so far been operating without an official policy on housing although there are guidelines but no policy.”

 

Denton Belisle

Andrea Polanco

“Talk to us about the specific parts of that policy?”

 

Denton Belisle

“Okay. Well, it will entail looking at the land use planning and administration of lands in terms of housing projects; it will look at financing; housing for socially disadvantaged groups in the society and it will also look at the provision of residential infrastructure, in that we will not only look at providing the housing but providing the habitat in which people can live comfortably in Belize. What we are going to be doing, is working along with our partners especially in the municipal government and other social partners, is organized and planned settlements for housing, rather than what has been happening so far where you have a haphazard development of housing without provision of proper infrastructure and you can see this in many of the communities throughout the country.”

 

Andrea Polanco

“When it comes to what we have in place currently, would you say that they continue to be at a disadvantage, for example, people who are underprivileged?”

 

Denton Belisle

“That is a fact which we have to deal with and which any sensible government will try to deal with within the parameters available to it. We are well aware that the upper income and the middle income people have access to financing for housing and home improvements, which the disadvantaged people do not have and that is something that we have to try to address. That is one of the things we hope this policy will help to address and that it will draw in international funding for housing for lower income families in our societies.”

 

Andrea Polanco

“Will there be mechanisms put in place to ensure that the people who are, who should be getting these opportunities and who are priority, will not be overlooked?”

 

Denton Belisle

“Well the process which we intend to use in developing this policy, this social housing policy, will entail a broad consultation with private, public, non-governmental, and other interested groups in our society, including civil society. So, I think those steps that we are going to take will ensure whatever we come up with will be an equitable solution to the problems which we face.”

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Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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