GIS - June 19, 2012: Ten families in the region of Grand-Port/Savanne have been allocated housing units under the social housing project initiated by the Integrated Social Development Programme of the National Empowerment Foundation (NEF). Keys were handed over to them on 15 June in Port Louis by the Minister of Social Integration and Economic Empowerment, Mr Surendra Dayal.
Funded to the tune of around Rs 2 million, the 10 housing units are part of a social housing project financed partly by the Corporate Social Responsibility Fund of the Currimjee Foundation and the NEF with the objective to help needy families whose monthly income is less than Rs 5 000 to have access to a decent dwelling. A Memorandum of Understanding was signed to that effect in November last year by the NEF and the Currimjee Foundation for the construction of 50 housing units to assist the people in the lower rung of the social ladder.
In his remarks during the handing over of keys to the ten families, Minister Dayal emphasised that Government, through the setting up of the housing units, is helping the vulnerable groups to acquire a roof. He also highlighted the importance of education as a means to fight poverty and for the empowerment of the needy so as to help them integrate mainstream activity. Mr Dayal enumerated the various facilities geared towards poverty alleviation offered by the NEF in line with the endeavour of the Government to eradicate absolute poverty in the country. On this score, he appealed to the less privileged to take advantage of these services for the betterment of their families.
The concrete cum Corrugated Iron Sheet (CIS) housing units have been structured in such a way so as to offer the possibility to the residents, if they wish at a later stage, to extend their houses both vertically and laterally. The approach developed under the Integrated Social Development Programme also provides for support to the families in terms of social, economic and environmental aspects through education, training, employability and entrepreneurship with the assistance of the NGOs. This will eventually help the families to break the vicious circle of poverty.
As at date, 31 housing units out of the 50 have already been delivered to beneficiaries against a monthly payment of Rs 500 for a period of 60 months. The remaining will be completed in the coming months. Moreover, with a view to help more families, the Government is working with NGOs and the private sector to expand this housing scheme to other regions namely Gros Cailloux, Dubreuil and to various pockets of poverty throughout the island.