Barbados rent prices can be unaffordable when financial hardship occurs. Fortunately, there are some programmes available that can lend a hand when necessary to prevent homelessness.
Some agencies provide emergency aid to those who are at immediate threat of an eviction. Others work to reduce the cost of renting or buying a home, making these resources very valuable to families earning less than the average income in Barbados.
National Assistance Board
Based in St Michael, the National Assistance Board is the primary provider of housing aid in Barbados. This government agency is responsible for the general welfare of all citizens, making sure that everyone has a place to sleep at night regardless of circumstances.
Poverty Alleviation Bureau
The government agency in charge of assisting with rent arrears is the Poverty Alleviation Bureau. Each year, the agency distributes aid to the households of approximately 250 children. Aid is designed to cover late rent payments in order to prevent the family’s eviction.
Urban Housing Loan Programme
Lower-income households are not permanently barred from home ownership. Assistance with purchasing a home can be received through the Urban Housing Loan Programme.
This programme makes it easier for tenants to become homeowners for the first time. Many participants find that while they may have been denied loans through banks, they can still receive the funding they need to buy their first home.
Housing and Neighbourhood Upgrading Programme
Funding was obtained from the Inter-American Development Bank for the purpose of providing capital in lower income neighbourhoods. This programme is a major contributor to affordable housing.
Much of the funding is utilised to provide capitalisation of property developers. The result is an increase in affordable housing units that are located within the areas where they are needed the most. For more information on the affordable housing vacancies that were made possible by the programme, call the Housing and Neighbourhood Upgrading Programme coordinator at 246-434-3620. You can be directed to information about available vacancies in reduced rent apartments near you.
National Housing Corporation
Additional funding for low cost housing was gained from the Caribbean Development Bank in 2010, which has now resulted in 316 low-rent housing units that are available through the National Housing Corporation (NHC). The NHC manages the properties and ensures that they are made available to households who cannot easily afford to pay market rent.
NHC is currently the primary listing source for Barbadians seeking reduced rent housing. For long-term tenants, there is a possibility of being assisted with making the transition from tenant to owner. NHC can assist each tenant who has lived at the same residence for the minimum qualifying period (20 years) to become owners of the property. Financing is made available through the General Workers Loan Fund. Call 246-467-6200 to discover reduced rent housing options that could lead to homeownership.
There are some residential housing agencies and rental assistance services that could also be useful for those experiencing problems with housing.
- Barbados Public Workers Co-operative allows applicants to borrow money for emergency rent even with limited collateral.
- Barbados Vagrants & Homeless Society provides housing while needs of food and clothing are also met.
- Clyde Gollop Shelter offers safe temporary housing to area homeless men.
- Verdun House offers a transitional housing program for abusers of drugs or alcohol.
Waiting for an eviction notice could be a mistake, since some aid programmes have an application process that may take longer than the eviction. Anyone delinquent on rent should be aware of the eviction process so that they have an understanding of what their timeframe is for making amends.