The government’s Ministry of Housing and Urban Development estimates that some 240 000 persons live in informal settlements, approximately 19% of the population; the waiting list for government subsidised housing is approximately 160 000 persons, some waiting for up to 25 years. The main housing demand stems from inequity and population growth; the main obstacles to access are the spiralling costs of real estate and construction products, the lack of land, and the reluctance of traditional financing sources to support first-time homeownership in the low-income target group.
Further, the poverty figures are themselves very startling. The 2014 Poverty Report commissioned by the Ministry of Social Development indicates:
Slightly over 30% of the population is classed as poor (Maximum monthly household income of TTD1000) or indigent (Maximum monthly household income of TTD418) – almost 400 000 persons.
The main factors contributing to poverty are low-income, lack of education and unemployment.