Some 26 families, eligible under the Social Register of Mauritius (SRM), received their keys to their new housing unit at Résidence Lily, the latest National Housing Development Company (NHDC) Housing Complex situated at Wooton, on Wednesday.
The Ceremony of Handing Over of Keys was organised by the Ministry of Social Integration, Social Security and National Solidarity and the National Empowerment Foundation (NEF). The Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Housing and Land Use Planning, Minister of Tourism, Mr Louis Steven Obeegadoo; the Minister of Social Integration, Social Security and National Solidarity, Mrs Fazila Jeewa-Daureeawoo; the Chairman of the NEF, Dr Mohamud Raffick Sorefan; the Chief Executive Officer of the NEF, Mr Jean Nel Alain Aliphon; and other personalities were present at the ceremony.
In his address, the Deputy Prime Minister recalled that for any NHDC housing complex being constructed, 10% of the housing units were reserved for NEF beneficiaries listed on the SRM. “Since 2019, Government has delivered social housing units to some 2,500 households, with 250 houses bought by the NEF from the NHDC for its beneficiaries,” he said. Mr Obeegadoo added that the construction of some 1,000 NHDC social housing units would be completed soon at Mare d’Albert, La Valette and Agalega, among others, providing an additional 100 households on the SRM with a residence.
Recalling that the Residence Lily, which comprised 282 housing units of 66m2, was inaugurated in May 2023, the Deputy Prime Minister told the 26 new owners that they could avail, too, of the amenities available at the NHDC Complex, namely a multipurpose hall, a children playground, jogging track and two mini markets. According to the Deputy Prime Minister, necessary arrangements were being made with the National Land Transport Authority for the provision of bus services to the NHDC Complex.
As for the Minister of Social Integration, Social Security and National Solidarity, she dwelt on the poverty alleviation schemes and empowerment programmes for the most vulnerable groups put in place under the Marshall Plan. She underlined that the objective of the Plan was to assist the vulnerable families over two years, based on a well-defined framework with set priority areas such as education, financial support, training of beneficiaries, housing facilities and cultivating family values. Mrs Fazila Jeewa-Daureeawoo stressed that the 2023-2024 Budget announced an increase in the maximum household income threshold for eligibility under the SRM from Rs 10,500 to Rs 14,650 as from July 2023.
The housing schemes cited by the Minister include the Fully Concrete Housing scheme where the NEF constructs housing unit of up to 50 m2 to the tune of Rs 1.2 million for families living in absolute poverty and are owners of a plot of land but do not have the means to build a housing unit. Regarding the 10% NHDC Ltd scheme, its purpose is to promote social integration within the community by allotting 10% of all new housing units constructed by the NHDC for families on the SRM who are not land owners. It is noted that beneficiaries under both schemes are required to contribute to around 20% of the project cost over 20 to 35 years.