The National Spatial Development Strategy (NSDS) provides the framework for decisions about the ways in which the national space will be used and developed over the next decade and beyond. Important policies include: Promoting Sustainable Urban and Rural Development (Policy 3), Meeting housing needs (policy 7) and Planning to improve conditions for squatters (Policy 8).
Urban Upgrading and Revitalisation Programme: The general objective of the programme is to contribute to the improvement of the quality of the urban built environment. The specific objectives are to: (i) improve the habitability in urban settlements on State‑owned lands; (ii) improve the physical quality and economic performance of urban public spaces; (iii) enhance housing conditions for low income households (income threshold of TT$8,000 per month); and (iv) strengthen the capacity of supply‑side stakeholders to satisfy effective housing demand.
- Component 1. Urban Residential Infrastructure (US$15.0 million)
This Component will finance a cohort of independent, urban residential infrastructure sub-projects of similar scope, to either upgrade living conditions in informal settlements on State lands or to develop planned, residential sub‑divisions in well‑located State-owned greenfield sites, for systematic allocation to low-income households. Locationally, the focus will be on the main urban corridors, and on sites not previously upgraded.
The specific investments of this component will include: (i) construction or upgrading of resilient site infrastructure, including drainage systems, waste-water management systems, road and accessibility systems, streetlights, potable water supply, fire-hydrants and social infrastructure, such as community centers and recreational facilities (with gender‑sensitive designs), when appropriate; (ii) solid-waste management, including installation of recycling collection points and receptacles within upgraded settlements; and (iii) regularization of electricity supply.
- Component 2. Urban Regeneration (US$15.5 million)
This component will finance a cohort of independent, urban regeneration initiatives of similar scope with an emphasis on improving the physical quality and economic performance of urban public spaces and facilities. This is an innovation since globally, such investments are today seen as integral to harnessing the potential of urbanization. Since it is an emerging development front in the country, the Multiple Works Programme (MWP) modality will allow the flexibility to define some of the investments after local contextualization and prioritization have improved.
It will finance building refurbishment, site and streetscaping infrastructure and landscaping to increase the attractiveness, resilience and sustainable use of urban public spaces and facilities. This component may finance some land assembly/acquisition in exceptional cases. An Operations and Maintenance Plan will also be financed for each upgraded place/facility, to help promote sustainability.
- Component 3. Affordable Housing Subsidies (US$15.0 million)
This component will finance specific investments to further improve habitability for low‑income households through reducing the qualitative and quantitative housing deficits, as well as, sustainability of the built environment. It will provide subsidies nationwide to finance: (i) selective home improvements for currently‑occupied homes which qualitatively enhance the basic living conditions of eligible low‑income households; and (ii) new construction or acquisition of basic homes on property that is already owned which directly services the housing needs of low‑income households.
- Component 4. Strengthening of Housing and Urban Development Sector Stakeholders’ Capacities (US$2.0 million)
This component will finance a range of activities which will better equip supply-side stakeholders to address the medium-term housing and sustainable urban development needs of the country. Among them are various sector studies, including a national housing market study; a drainage and waste‑water management Plan for the Diego Martin area; and a Study of appropriate development standards in dense, hillside, urban communities. For the Tobago House of Assembly (THA), a key activity will be the preparation of an Infrastructure Investment Plan to guide sustainable development. All of these studies will strengthen the underlying physical planning framework for public policy.