Home improvement grants in Trinidad and England: a comparison

LSE Research

Download Document

Date Published 2010
Primary Author Kathleen Scanlon
Other Authors
Theme Housing Finance Subsidies
Country Trinidad and Tobago


Housing subsidies in the Caribbean country of Trinidad focus on improving the housing conditions of the lowest income groups, in common with most such programmes worldwide. Houses there are often self-built and lack amenities such as indoor plumbing, concrete flooring and watertight roofs. Even those households that hold formal title to their dwelling often cannot access formal housing finance because their incomes are too low. What is the best way to improve their housing conditions? In the past, the government\'s policy was to demolish such settlements and replace them with formal, government-built dwellings; now the approach is to helpresidents to improve the homes they have by offering grants to cover 50% of the cost of improvements. In England the housing stock is in better condition. There is currently limited subsidy available for improvements to owner-occupied homes, but for many years after World War II there was a generous system of mandatory grants. This paper explores the current system of housing subsidy in Trinidad and compares it to historic and current English practice, focusing particularly on targeting and distribution mechanisms, and explores proposals for reform.

< Back to Search Results