One hundred and forty-nine families received their cheques, amounting to a total of Rs 11.8 million disbursed by Government under the Roof Slab Grant Scheme, during a ceremony held yesterday at the Plaza Hall, Rose Hill. The Minister of Housing and Lands, Mr Purmanund Jhugroo, and other personalities were present.
The Scheme is a core part of the Social Housing Policy of Government to ensure that low-income families are able to have a decent dwelling. Ninety-three beneficiaries received the grant of Rs 100 000; 41 benefitted from Rs 70 000; and, 15 families received Rs 50 000.
In his address, Minister Jhugroo, reiterated Government's commitment to providing support to vulnerable families who are at the lower rung of the social ladder. Budget 2019-2020, he highlighted, makes provisions of several measures to upgrade the life of needy families and to promote an equitable society. On this score, he stated that the Building Materials Grant Scheme and the Roof Slab Grant Scheme have been extended to households which have already benefitted from Corrugated Iron Sheet and Concrete cum Corrugated Iron Sheet housing units and to families living in ex-CHA houses.
Since January 2015 to June 2019, Mr Jhugroo emphasised, 6 463 families have benefitted from the roof slab grant scheme amounting to a sum of Rs 491.8 million. He also spoke of the increase in the grants for the different income categories which are as follows: an increase in the grant, from Rs 65 000 to Rs 100 000 for families earning a monthly income of up to Rs 10 000; Rs 70 000 instead of Rs 40 000 for those earning between Rs 10 001 to Rs 15 000 monthly; and, Rs 50 000 for families earning between Rs 15 001 to Rs 20 000 monthly.
Regarding the loan thresholds for the different income groups, the Minister pointed out that in July 2018, the loan threshold increased from Rs 500 000 to Rs 750 000 for families earning between Rs 10 001 and Rs 15 000 monthly and in January 2019, the maximum loan amount increased from Rs 750 000 to Rs 900 000 for families earning between Rs 15 000 and Rs 20 000 per month.
Government, Mr Jhugroo added, will provide continuous support to lessen the burden of low-income families for the casting of roof slabs so as to complete their housing project and strengthen their social and cultural integration.