With a population of 1.3 million, Trinidad and Tobago is the second-largest English-speaking country in the Caribbean. The estimated population growth rate in the country is 0.3 percent per year. About 70 percent of the population lives in urban areas, especially along the east–west corridor on either side of the Port of Spain and the western corridor extending from Port of Spain to San Fernando. These regions have high densities, which often lead to inadequate living conditions in terms of space and sanitation facilities.
While there is widespread discomfort with the term “slum” in Trinidad and Tobago, there are communities and pockets of dwellings within the featured urban centres that display slum characteristics: lack of secure tenure; inadequate access to basic services and utilities; poor quality housing in terms of durability, adequacy, and design; inaccessibility; non-adherence to building codes; and displacement and relocation issues. These areas have evolved largely as a result of squatting and urban decay, which are prolific in Trinidad and Tobago. The Land Settlement Agency currently estimates that there are approximately 300,000 squatters, representing some 50,000 households. Squatting is largely the result of an inability to access land in the real estate market (Trinidad and Tobago Urban Sector Profile 2011).
Phase 1: Urban profiling – completed
Phase 2: Action planning and programme document formulation – ongoing
Phase 3: Project implementation – forthcoming