3                                                          Socio-Economic Background

3.1                                                          Population and Households

3.1.1                                                     Study Area Population

The Study Area comprises the entire Port of Spain administrative area and parts of Diego Martin and St. Anns.  The distribution of population between these areas is shown in Table 3.1.  The data presented relates to 1980 and 1990.  Early results from the 2000 census are expected imminently but were not available at the time of writing. 

Table 3.1   Distribution of Greater Port of Spain Population between Administrative Areas

Administrative Area

Population

Annual Growth Rate

Population Distribution

1980

1990

% of Study Area

% Of Admin. Area

Port of Spain

55800

45915

-1.9%

36%

100%

Diego Martin (part)

22296

21293

-0.5%

16%

23%

St. Anns (part)

64979

60818

-0.7%

48%

41%

Greater Port Of Spain

143075

128026

-1.1%

100%

 

Source: 1980 and 1990 Censuses.

 

 
 

 

 

 

 

 


The total population of Greater Port of Spain (GPoS) in 1990 was around 128,000.  Nearly half this population was located in St. Anns, almost entirely in the Laventille/Morvant districts.  Port of Spain itself constitutes just over 1/3rd of the GPoS population. 

The Diego Martin component comes from the Fort George, Upper St. James and Ellerslie/ Maraval areas.  Over 40% of the total population of St. Anns reside within GPoS.

The population of GPoS decreased by over 10% between 1980 and 1990.  A decrease occurred in every area but was particularly marked in Port of Spain.  There are three principal reasons:

·         Nationals trends of decreasing fertility and household size

·         Very limited availability of developable land leading to out-migration to, principally, Diego Martin, the Eastern corridor and Chaguanas

·         The spread of commercial development to previously residential areas like Woodbrook, St. Clair and Newtown.

The following sections examine growth trends in more detail and provide estimates of the current (2000) population.

(a)                  Population and Household Growth within Greater Port of Spain

Table 3.2 presents population and household data and growth rates for constituent parts of the Study Area.  It is envisaged that these districts, with some amendment, will provide the basis for the formulation of the Master Plan.  As before, no recent data is available

 

 

 

 

 

Table 3.2   Population and Households – Distribution and Growth (1980-1990)

(i)                  AREA

Population

% of 1990

Pop.

Households

Growth Rate 1980-90

District

Sub-district

1980

1990

1980

1990

Pop.

H’holds

Port of Spain

55800

45915

36%

15083

14460

-1.9%

-0.4%

West Outer

Cocorite/St James

11021

9259

7%

2804

2534

-1.7%

-1.0%

West Inner

Woodbrook/ St. Clair/Newtown

8581

6427

5%

2472

2281

-2.8%

-0.8%

Central

(inc. Sealots)

6933

5754

4%

1854

1851

-1.8%

0.0%

East 

Belmont/Gonzales/E.Dry River

29265

24475

19%

7953

7794

-1.8%

-0.2%

(b)                  Diego Martin

22296

21293

17%

5339

6185

-0.5%

1.5%

Upper St. James

Fort George/Bournes Rd/Dibe

12158

12017

9%

2876

3237

-0.1%

1.2%

Maraval

Ellerslie/Boissiere/La Seiva

10138

9276

7%

2463

2948

-0.9%

1.8%

(c)                  St. Anns

64979

60818

48%

16064

17976

-0.7%

1.1%

St. Anns

St. Anns/Cascade

6976

6406

5%

1876

2020

-0.8%

0.7%

Laventille

Upper Belmont/Gonzales

12500

12457

10%

3018

3480

0.0%

1.4%

Laventille

Ovid/Picton/E. Quarry

11079

9702

8%

2722

3290

-1.3%

1.9%

Laventille

Troumacaque/Success/

Beetham

14704

13526

11%

3832

3889

-0.8%

0.1%

Laventille

Sub-Total

38283

35685

28%

9572

10659

-0.7%

1.1%

 

 

 

Table 3.2   Population and Households – Distribution and Growth (1980-1990)

(Cont’d…)

(i)                  AREA

Population

% of 1990

Pop.

Households

Growth Rate 1980-90

District

Sub-district

1980

1990

1980

1990

Pop.

H’holds

Morvant

Mappland/Chinapoo/Red Hill

4959

4514

4%

1198

1285

-0.9%

0.7%

Morvant

Morvant/ Caledonia 1

6264

5142

4%

1461

1523

-2.0%

0.4%

Morvant

Romain Lands/Marie Rd./Mon Repos

8497

9071

7%

1957

2489

0.7%

2.4%

Morvant

Sub-Total

19720

18727

15%

4616

5297

-0.5%

1.4%

GREATER PORT OF SPAIN

143075

128026

100%

36486

38621

-1.1%

0.6%

Source: 1980 and 1990 Censuses

In terms of population distribution, the main finding is the high proportion (62%) living in East Port of Spain (including the older established areas of Belmont and East Dry River and the newer areas of Laventille and Morvant).

The pattern of growth is also revealing.  Whilst almost every area lost population, the number of households increased in every area outside Port of Spain proper (where there was substantial conversion of residential to non-residential uses). This apparent paradox results from the national trend of decreasing household size (from around 4.6 persons per household in 1980 to around 4 in 1990). The main growth areas were those parts of Morvant outside Lady Young Road (where the population also increased), Upper Belmont and Eastern Quarry in Laventille, Maraval and Upper St. James.  These areas are those where availability of land has enabled the construction of new homes. 

 

The overall growth rate for households was 0.6% annually compared with a national growth rate, during the 1980s, of 2.5% annually.  The much lower growth rate for Port of Spain indicates a high level of out-migration to neighbouring area, e.g. Diego Martin, the eastern corridor and Caroni. 

3.1.2                                                     Age Structure

Table 3.3 compares the age structure of the population of the Study Area to that of the national population.

Table 3.3   Population Age Structure, 1990

AGE GROUP

1990

2000

PoS

Outer

GPOS

T and T

T and T

0-4 years

9.3*

10.9

10.4

10.9

8

5-14 years

18.8

22.0

20.9

22.6

17.4

15-24 years

15.2

17.2

16.5

22.8

19.7

25-44 years

28.1

28.9

28.6

23.9

31.5

45-64 years

15.5

13.8

14.3

13.1

17.2

65+ years

13.2

7.2

9.2

6.7

6.2

TOTAL

100.0

100.0

100.0

100

100

*          All Figures are percentages          Source: 1990 Census

 

 
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


The Study Area has a substantially older population than the nation as a whole: 52% aged over 24 years compared with 44% nationally.  The difference is most marked in the 25-44 years and 65+ groups; conversely, there are fewer young persons (15-24 years).  Differences are considerably more marked for Port of Spain than for the outer area.  Current national projections however indicate that these differences are reducing.  The implications are that the Study Area has more single people of working age, fewer children and more retirees, and hence fewer families, than the population as a whole.  This will partly account for the lower household size in the Study Area: 3.4 compared with 4 nationally.

(a)                  The Population of Greater Port of Spain in 2000

Pending the publication of the results of the 2000 census, there is no information on the current population of Greater Port of Spain or its distribution across the Study Area.  Alternative estimates can however be derived by making reasoned assumptions based on the observed 1980 to 1990 trends, field observations and national data.  In particular, the latter implies a continuing decrease in the average household size to around 3.6 persons by 2000. 

It is also probable that the main housing trends in the last 10 years are essentially the same as in preceding years: increased establishment of commercial uses to the west of the town centre (e.g. Woodbrook), continued construction of individual homes or small groups of properties on the hillsides in both low and middle/high income areas (e.g. Maraval, upper S. James, east of Lady Young Road), and, negatively, the absence of large-scale housing construction (apart from the apartments at Cocorite).  The main variables in making estimates for 2000 are therefore the rate of decline in average household size and the continuation or otherwise of the 1980-90 trends in household growth.

Trends in household growth: constraints on land supply, already apparent during the1980s, will have increased implying that the amount of new housing construction during the 1990s will be less than that observed during the 1980s.  Conversely, the conversion of existing single family properties to multiple occupation will, to some extent, make up for this ‘shortfall’.  In consequence, some household growth will almost certainly have occurred. The Consultants’ preferred assumptions are a continuation of the existing trend in Port of Spain and a halving of the observed growth rate in Diego Martin and St. Anns.

These assumptions give an estimate of around 39,500 households in GPoS in 2000 compared with 38,600 in 1990.

Changes in Average Household Size (AHS): Nationally, average household size is projected to decline by around 10% between 1990 and 2000.  Given the observed lower household size in GPoS in 1990, the most plausible assumption is considered to be a 5% decline in average household size in the Study Area.

Alternative estimates have been prepared assuming a continuation of 1980 to 1990 growth trends in Diego Martin and St. Anns, a constant household size and a 10% decrease (corresponding to the national projection).

The resultant estimates are presented in Table 3.4.  It should be noted that these are based on 1990 populations adjusted to be consistent with those used in making national projections (by CSO) and the NCDP. These adjustments produce a 1990 estimate for the Study Area of around 132,000.

The preferred estimate of the population in 2000 is around 129,000 in 39,500 households; this implies a decrease of just over 2% relative to 1990. The alternative estimates indicate a range of between 127,000 and 136,000 (population) and a high estimate for households of 41,100.  It is considered unlikely that the population will fall significantly outside this range.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Table 3.4   Population and Household Estimates for 2000

AREA

1990

2000

Assumptions

 

Pop.

Hholds

Pop.

Hholds

 

A.1.1                                                   Preferred Estimate

Port of Spain

46065

14460

41954

13863

Reduced 1980-90 household growth. 5% decrease in AHS

Diego Martin

22219

6185

22719

6657

St. Anns

63962

17976

64279

19016

GPoS

132247

38621

128952

39535

A.2.1                                                   Alternative Estimates

GPoS

 

 

135739

39535

Reduced 1980-90 household growth. Constant AHS

GPoS

 

 

134404

41143

1980-90 household growth. 5% decrease in AHS

GPoS

 

 

127684

41143

1980-90 household growth. 10% decrease in AHS

GPoS

 

 

127519

na

Derived from NCDP

 Source: Consultants Estimates, see text.

 

 
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


1.1.3                                                     Future Population and Household Growth

The future population of Greater Port of Spain will depend primarily on three principal factors:

·         The future trend in average household size

·         The capacity of the Study Area to accommodate additional housing development

·         The ability and willingness of residents to pay for the new accommodation on offer.

Concerning the average household size, the future trend will almost certainly be downward reflecting existing demographic trends.

Nationally, this is expected to fall from around 3.6 persons at present to around 2.8 in 2020 (see NCDP, Socio-Economic Analysis Working Paper, 1999, Table A.6).

The decline in the Study Area is likely to be lower given the existing smaller size of households.  Based on the NCDP, the average household size is projected to decline from around 3.3 in 2000 to around 2.6 persons in 2020 – a decrease of around 20%.

Issues related to the capacity of GPoS to accommodate more residential development are addressed later. There are however some pointers:

·         There are very few sizeable, easily developable sites for new housing.

·         There is limited capacity for densification in existing areas without major redevelopment or increases in building heights – in certain areas such as Woodbrook, such redevelopment would conflict with the existing trend of increasing commercial development.  In other areas, low affordability will act as a constraint.

·         Some further development of hillside housing, by rich or poor, is likely to continue, irrespective of official controls and enforcement.

·         The proposed waterfront development will provide a significant number of new housing units although these are likely to be affordable to only a small section of the population.

·         There are a number of vacant or very underused sites in the central area.  Some of these could be used, at least partly, for housing although affordability and targeting would again be a key issue.

 

Given the above, it is deemed unrealistic to attempt to formulate definitive projections of future population and households in the Study Area.  However, in order to inform the subsequent stages of this project, it is considered desirable to formulate an indicative range of projections for population and households.  The assumptions used in order to arrive at these projections are:

LOW projection: a continuation of the observed 1980-90 rate of household decrease in Port of Spain proper and a growth trend for households elsewhere in the Study Area of 25% of the observed 1980-90 growth rate.  This projection essentially implies negligible new housing development in GPoS over the next 20 years.

HIGH projection: this has been derived by assuming a continuation of the observed 1980 to 1990 household growth rates in Diego Martin and St. Anns. 

A VERY HIGH projection has been obtained by assuming that all the future demand for new households in the Study Area can be accommodated within the Study Area.  This has been formulated by assuming that the Study Area increases at the projected national population growth rate (0.8% annually) until 2020.

These projections have been made assuming both the projected decline in household size and a lower rate of decrease.  The resultant projections are presented in Table 3.5.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Table 3.5   Indicative Population and Household Projections for 2020

Greater Port of Spain

Population

Households

AHS

Current - 2000

129,000

39,500

3.3

Low Projection – 2020

Low AHS

104,100

40,000

2.6

Higher AHS

120,000

40,000

3.0

High projection – 2020

Low AHS

114,400

44,000

2.6

Higher AHS

 132,000

44,000

3.0

Very High Projection - 2020

Low AHS

151,300

58,200

2.6

Higher AHS

 151,300

50,400

3.0

Source: Consultants’ Estimates

 

 
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


The Low and High projections indicate a range of population for GPoS in 2020 from 104,000 to 132,000.  If the AHS decreases as projected, the population will be lower than it is today, even if the 1980 to 1990 building rates were maintained. The implication is that the population of the Study Area is unlikely to increase over the next 20 years.  Demands for services other than housing (e.g. health and education) will thus remain stable or even decline though changes in the type of provision may be experienced.

The High projection indicates an increase in households of 4,500; the Low projection indicates a negligible increase.  It should be noted that the increase in households implied by the High projection is significantly less than the NCDP based target of 7000 additional households quoted in the Port of Spain Concept Plan prepared as the precursor to this study.

This ‘target’ implies a household growth rate far in excess of that achieved during the past 20 years.  The Very High projection confirms that the majority of future growth in the Study Area will continue to be accommodated in Diego Martin, the Eastern Corridor and Caroni. 

The following section includes a more detailed analysis of the capacity of the Study Area to accommodate increases in household provision.

3.2                                                          Housing

3.2.1                                                     General

Housing in the Study Area exhibits a wide variation of types, construction, age, tenure and service provision.  It ranges from luxury waterfront apartments to hillside shacks lacking water, electricity and vehicular access.  It is not proposed to undertake a detailed analysis of these variations.  There are three reasons:

·         There is a widespread awareness of these variations, the problems they induce and their geographical distribution.

·         There is no comprehensive data since 1990.

·         Disaggregate information (e.g. by district) is lacking.

Instead this section focuses on the potential for increasing housing provision within the Study Area and affordability.

(a)                  New Housing Provision in the Study Area

There are two ways in which housing provision in the Study Area can be increased: the densification of existing settlements and substantial new housing schemes on currently vacant or under-used areas.

3.2.2                                                     Current Densities

Table 3.6 presents indicators of residential densities and multiple occupation for selected parts of the Study Area.  Information has been presented for primarily residential areas, which have a high degree of land occupancy.

The exceptions are Ellerslie/ Boissiere, and Maraval, which encompass a substantial proportion of undeveloped hillside land.

Excluding these areas, gross residential densities range from around 40 in Morvant and Upper Belmont (hilly), 50 in Woodbrook (lower density and old established) to 80 in Belmont and most of Laventille.  The highest densities are in East Dry River and Ovid/Picton where they exceed 120 persons per hectare; these areas however accommodate several blocks of flats.  The overall average is around 50 but rises to 70 persons per hectare if the Maraval areas are excluded.   Buildings per hectare mostly range between 15 and 25 per hectare; the highest density was 36 in the Ovid/Picton area.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Table 3.6   Residential Densities and Multiple Occupation

District

Locations

Area (has)

1990 Estimates

Densities (per hectare)

Multi-Occupation

Pop.

Hholds

Buildings   *

Dwellings  **

Pop.

Hholds

Builds.

HH/

Dwell

Dwell/Build

Cocorite

 

30

1808

400

407

451

60

13

14

0.89

1.11

St. James

 

120

7451

2134

2076

2240

62

18

17

0.95

1.08

Woodbrook

 

100

4828

1589

1608

1624

48

16

16

0.98

1.01

Belmont

 

140

10744

3391

2984

3549

77

24

21

0.96

1.19

Gonzales

 

50

2677

775

694

804

54

16

14

0.96

1.16

East Dry River

Clifton Hill

90

11054

3628

2306

3718

123

40

26

0.98

1.61

Ellerslie/Federation Park

Boissiere/ Belle Vue

180

2947

1020

849

1088

16

6

5

0.94

1.28

Maraval

La Seiva/Fairways

260

3011

1043

812

1122

12

4

3

0.93

1.38

Maraval

Maraval

290

3318

885

827

883

11

3

3

1.00

1.07

Upper Belmont North

Upper St. Barbs/Layan Hill/St. Francois/ Valley Road

140

5576

1605

1449

1681

40

11

10

0.95

1.16

Laventille

Blondell Alley/St. Barbs

70

6881

1875

1735

2006

98

27

25

0.93

1.16

Laventille

Ovid/Picton/John John

60

7420

2155

1753

2261

124

36

29

0.95

1.29

Laventille

Eastern Quarry

30

2282

647

568

673

76

22

19

0.96

1.18

Laventille

Troumacaque

40

3641

1074

873

1151

91

27

22

0.93

1.32

Laventille

Troumacaque

40

3329

1018

884

1094

83

25

22

0.93

1.24

Laventille

Success/Paradise Heights (E. of Parsley St)

30

2664

746

442

764

89

25

15

0.98

1.73

 

 

Table 3.6   Residential Densities and Multiple Occupation

(Cont’d…)

District

Locations

Area (has)

1990 Estimates

Densities (per hectare)

Multi-Occupation

Pop.

Hholds

Buildings   *

Dwellings  **

Pop.

Hholds

Builds.

HH/

Dwell

Dwell/Build

Beetham Estate

50

3892

1051

867

1067

78

21

17

.96

1.24

Morvant

Mappland/Chinapoo

30

2445

665

622

699

82

22

21

0.95

1.12

Morvant

RedHill

50

2069

620

586

674

41

12

12

0.92

1.15

Morvant

Morvant/ Caledonia 1

120

5142

1523

1376

1561

43

13

11

0.98

1.13

All Areas

 

1870

89287

26793

22851

28043

48

14

12

0.96

1.23

*           Buildings include non-residential establishments

**            Dwellings essentially represent the living quarters associated with a single household

The ratio of households per dwelling is almost always less than unity.  This reflects the vacancy rate.  Overall, the implied vacancy rate is 4%; this is a fairly typical value and does not indicate an unusual degree of vacancy. 

The ratio of dwellings per building indicates the level of multi-occupation. This can involve either purpose built units (e.g. apartments) or the sub-division of existing properties.  Discounting the high ratios in East Dry River, Maraval, Ovid/John John (apartments), and Success (anomalous), the overall ratio is around 1.16.  It ranges from just over 1 in Woodbrook to 1.3 in Troumacaque.

(a)                  Future Densification

Housing pressures will continue to be accommodated within the Study Area wherever possible, principally through the redevelopment and the sub-division of existing premises and increasing occupation of hillsides.

An indication of this potential increase can be obtained by making area by area assumptions regarding the evolution of building densities and the ratio of dwellings per building.  The assumptions used are:

·         Dwelling to building ratios rise to 1.16 where they are currently below this level

·         Increase in household densities to 20 per hectare where they are currently below this level

·         No increase in the central area and St. Clair/ Newtown (the current trend is for a decline)

·         10% increase in buildings in hilly areas

·         4% vacancy rate

·         No allowance for de-densification.

These assumptions have been applied area by area to produce Table 3.7.  They indicate that around 3800 additional households could be accommodated within the Study Area.  This estimate essentially reflects existing trends.  They take no account of the following:

·         Policies towards the development of hillside areas and the enforcement of these controls

·         Continuing pressure for the expansion of commercial development in Woodbrook (as well as uptown)

·         The acceptability and feasibility of major residential development in the town centre

·         Major proposed residential developments, e.g. the waterfront.

(b)                 New Schemes

The major new residential scheme proposed at present is for 350 units at Damien St. (Woodbrook). The waterfront development also provides for around 1500 apartments.  Two large schemes in Cocorite would provide another 200 units.  Together these proposals provide around 2000 dwellings.  Other proposals on smaller sites in Maraval and Cascade could provide around 350 units but these are assumed to be included in the projections contained in Table 3.7. Virtually all these proposals are for high cost units that will not be affordable to a large proportion of the population (see below). 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Table 3.7   Potential Increase in Housing due to Densification

 

 

New Dwellings

New Households *

 

District

Sub-district

Increased density

Increase multi-occupation

Port of Spain

886

527

1356

West Outer

Cocorite/St.James

405

226

605

West Inner

Woodbrook/ St. Clair/Newtown

400

300

672

Central

(inc. Sealots)

0

0

0

East 

Belmont/Gonzales/ E.Dry River

80

1

79

(b)                 Diego Martin

611

652

1140

Upper St. James

Fort George/Bournes Rd/Dibe

342

0

329

Maraval

Ellerslie/Boissiere/La Seiva

309

535

811

(c)                  St. Anns

1292

1224

1268

St. Anns

St. Anns/Cascade

218

0

209

Laventille

Upper Belmont/Gonzales

168

5

166

Laventille

Ovid/Picton/E. Quarry

0

0

0

Laventille

Troumacaque/Success/

Beetham

108

0

103

Laventille

Sub-Total

276

5

269

Morvant

Mappland/Chinapoo/Red Hill

67

32

95

Morvant

Morvant/ Caledonia 1

156

61

209

Morvant

Romain Lands/Marie Rd./Mon Repos

507

0

486

Morvant

Sub-Total

730

93

790

GREATER PORT OF SPAIN

2761

1161

3764

Source: Consultants’ Estimates

 

 
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


3.2.3                                                     Future Housing Provision – Overview

The total potential housing provision identified above amounts to just under 6,000 units.  This is more than is indicated by the High projection in Table 3.5 but is below the ‘target’ of 7,000 proposed in the Concept Plan.  Furthermore, a substantial proportion of these units would occur in hilly areas that would compound existing problems of erosion and deforestation.  It also assumes substantial increases in multiple occupation in some areas and a reversal of the trend of decreasing residential uses in Woodbrook. This overall level of provision can thus be seen as a maximum.  The implication is that radical measures will be needed to attain this level of provision, let alone the target of 7,000 households contained in the Concept Plan. Such measures could include some or all of the following:

·         the construction of residential units on vacant/ underused sites in the central area

·         increasing residential provision in the Waterfront development

·         allowing substantial increases in densities in existing residential areas, e.g. Woodbrook and St. James

·         relaxing controls on multiple occupation

·         formulating more flexible controls for hillside development.

3.2.4                                                     Affordability

The prime objective of any housing policy must be to ensure the provision of suitable housing for all sections of the population.  The issue of affordability is thus of paramount importance.  Table 3.8 summarises the distribution of household incomes in the Study Area.  The data is derived from the 1990 Census and shows that incomes in the Study Area were significantly below the national average.  This is despite the much higher than average incomes in Diego Martin.  This situation results principally from the presence of substantial areas of lower income housing in eastern Port of Spain. 

 

Table 3.8   Distribution of Household Income, 1990

AREA

HOUSEHOLD MONTHLY INCOME

Median

 

<$500

$500-$1699

$1700-$2999

$3000-$5999

$6000+

ALL

$

Ratio

Port of Spain

31%

29%

17%

16%

7%

100%

1260

0.9

Diego Martin

23%

26%

18%

19%

14%

100%

1770

1.26

St. Anns

32%

36%

21%

7%

5%

100%

1200

0.86

Outer Areas

30%

34%

20%

9%

7%

100%

1200

0.86

Greater Port of Spain

31%

32%

19%

12%

7%

100%

1200

0.86

T and T

25%

33%

20%

16%

6%

100%

1400

1

Source: 1990 Census, Income Report

 

 
 

 

 

 

 

 

 


The ‘Review of Shelter and Land Development Policy’ by PADCO and Laughlin and Associates categorised housing demand by income group and type of housing which was affordable.  Based on 1995 prices, they estimated that 42% of households had low incomes (less than $3632 per annum at 1995 prices), 40% were middle income (between $3632 and $8844) and 18% were classified as high income (above $8844).  The middle income group was further split between low middle and high middle incomes with 2/3rds being included in the former and 1/3rd in the latter.  When these income levels were related to housing types, the distribution presented in Table 3.9 was obtained.

The implications are substantial:

·         40% of demand is from low income groups households (under TT$3632 at 1995 prices) with less than 20% from high income (over TT$8844)

·         only 30% of households could afford a completed house, around 25% could afford a core home while the remainder would require a substantial degree of subsidy.  

Table 3.9   Housing Demand by Type and Income Level, 1995

HOUSE TYPE

A.1                                                       INCOME LEVEL

High

Medium

Low

Total

Percentage distribution

Complete House

18%

13%

0%

32%

Core house

0%

25%

0%

25%

Subsidised

0%

2%

42%

43%

Total

18%

40%

42%

100%

NB.  Figures represent percentages of all housing demand.

Source: Housing Sector Study, PADCO/Laughlin and Assoc.

 
 

 

 

 

 

 

 


It should be noted that Table 3.9 is based on current planning standards and a plot size of 5000 sq. ft. (450 sq.m.).  Reducing plot size to 350 sq.m. would reduce per plot costs (excluding land) by 23%.  Other changes in frontages and block size could further reduce costs as would reduce levels of infrastructure provision.  Currently much self-build low income housing is built on smaller plots with little infrastructure provision and inferior materials – all of which combine to provide affordable and unsubsidised housing.  Subsequently, many of these households upgrade their property as and when financial resources permit.  This process is evident in many areas but especially in parts of Laventille where the majority of houses are now built of bricks and/or concrete.

As indicated previously, incomes in the Study Area are below the national average. The distribution of housing by type and income level shown in the preceding table will thus overestimate the proportion of high cost housing; by the same token, the proportion of low-income groups would be higher.

These differences are not however expected to be large.  On the other hand, real GDP per capita has increased by around 20% since 1995; this will reduce the proportion of low-income households. 

Allowing for these changes, and using the 1990 income distribution, a revised distribution of households by broad income groups is shown in Table 3.10.  This Table also shows the distributions of housing demand by income groups in 2020 taking into account the projected increases in GDP per capita implied in the NCDP. 

Table 3.10   Estimated and Projected Housing Demand by Income Group

HOUSE TYPE

A.2                                                       INCOME LEVEL

High

Medium

Low

Total

1995 national

18%

40%

42%

100%

1995 adjusted

16%

40%

44%

100%

2000

21%

42%

37%

100%

2020

28%

44% *

28%

100%

* Around 40% of this group (18% of total demand) would only be able to afford core housing

Source: Consultants Estimates based on Tables 3.7 and 3.8 and NCDP economic projections.

 

 
 

 

 

 

 

 

 


This distribution must be seen as indicative.  It does however provide some idea of future housing demand in Port of Spain. It shows a substantial shift from low income to high-income households; this is realistic given the assumptions of continuous steady economic growth contained in the NCDP. The proportion of low-income households will still represent around 30% of the total housing demand.

 

 

Applying these proportions to a possible increase of 6000 households in the Study Area means that there would need to be around 1700 each for the high and low income groups, and 2600 for middle income.  This housing can be provided in a number of ways:

·         Through the continuous upgrading of the housing stock

·         Through the sub-division of existing properties

·         Through the construction of new houses by developers

·         Through the provision of complete houses, core housing or serviced sites by the government

·         Though self-build activities.

At present, the great majority of developers concentrate on the highest income groups.  This is certainly the case for all the major current proposals for residential development.  On the other hand, the lowest income groups often resort to squatting.  It seems likely that the majority of middle income housing needs are accommodated outside the study area in Diego Martin, the Eastern Corridor and Chaguanas.  In terms of future planning, the principal conclusion is that attempts should be made to encourage the provision of housing for middle and low income groups, i.e. all those who are unable to afford the high cost housing now being provided by developers.  Given the financial constraints on the government, every encouragement should be given to enabling middle and low-income households to provide for themselves.  This will require a high degree of flexibility in housing standards.

3.3                                                          Employment And Economic Activity

Labour Force Surveys undertaken in 1995, 1996 and 1997 provide some information on the supply and demand for labour in the Study Area.  The majority of what follows are derived from averaging the information for the 3 above-mentioned years.

 

The information is therefore more up to date than the 1990 Census data on population and households.  It is however based on sample surveys and is thus subject to some inaccuracy.

3.3.1                                                     Employment

In the mid-1990s, the labour supply in the Study Area was around 62,000.  This represents a general participation rate of around 63% and implies that around 48% of the Study Area population are currently in the labour force.  The employed labour force residing in the Study Area amounted to around 51,500, representing around 40% of the population.  The ratio of workers per household is around 1.3.

Table 3.11 summarises the structure of the employed labour force by industrial sector for the Study Area and nationally. Relative to the national distribution there are higher proportions of financial workers (especially), government and trade workers. These proportions are higher in Port of Spain itself.  Sectors less well represented are manufacturing and, unsurprisingly, agriculture.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Table 3.11   Employment by Industrial Sector of Study Area Residents,  1995-97

INDUSTRIAL SECTOR

1995-97 #

PoS

Diego Martin

St. Anns

GPoS *

T and T

Agriculture

1%

4%

3%

2%

10%

Manufacture

9%

12%

14%

12%

14%

Construction/Utilities

8%

9%

13%

11%

12%

Trade

21%

19%

20%

20%

18%

Transport

9%

7%

7%

8%

7%

Finance

14%

14%

10%

12%

8%

Government **

15%

12%

12%

13%

11%

Social and related services

12%

10%

10%

11%

11%

Personal/Hhold/Other services

10%

12%

11%

11%

9%

All Non-financial services

37%

34%

33%

35%

31%

TOTAL

100%

100%

100%

100%

100%

#  In this and subsequent tables, the information is the average of the data from the 1995, 1996 and 1997 Labour Force Surveys.  As these surveys are sample surveys, there can be substantial fluctuations from year to year.  Averaging removes these fluctuations.

*   Weighted according to the proportionate distribution of the Study Area population

** Figures in italics are estimated from 1990 Census data.

Source: Labour Force Survey, 1997; 1990 Census

 
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Table 3.12 compares the distribution of Study Area workforce by type of work to the national distribution.  Compared with the national distribution, employees resident in the Study Area are more likely to be employed in private sector enterprises than in government or government enterprises.

These differences are more marked in the outer parts of the Study Area; within Port of Spain proper Government employees are even less well represented. An analysis of the 1990 census data revealed an almost identical sectoral distribution.

Table 3.12   Type of Worker, 1995-97

TYPE OF WORKER

1995-97

PoS

Diego Martin

St. Anns

GPoS

T and T

Government – Service

26%

15%

17%

20%

24%

Government – Enterprise

3%

1%

3%

3%

6%

Private sector employee

49%

61%

58%

55%

46%

Self-Employed

16%

18%

18%

17%

17%

Employer

4%

5%

3%

4%

4%

Other

2%

1%

1%

1%

4%

TOTAL

100%

100%

100%

100.0

100

Source: Labour Force Survey, 1997

 

 

 
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


3.3.2                                                     Unemployment

Table 3.13 shows that, in 1990, there was little difference in Study Area and national unemployment rates.  By the mid-1990s, however, following the upturn in the economy, unemployment decreased in all areas except for St. Anns where there has been little change.  A possible reason is the presence of a large proportion of low income housing in East Port of Spain.

The converse is also probable in Diego Martin where unemployment is far lower.  When the surveys were undertaken there were around 11,000 persons classified as unemployed.

Table 3.13   Unemployment in Greater Port of Spain

AREA

% Unemployed

Ratio

 

1990

1995-97

1990

1995-97

Port of Spain

19.5%

15.7%

0.98

0.98

Diego Martin

20.5%

10.4%

1.03

0.65

St. Anns

20.5%

21.0%

1.03

1.30

GPoS

20.1%

17.3%

1.01

1.08

T and T

20%

16.1%

1.00

1.00

Source: Labour Force Survey, 1997; 1990 Census

 

 
 

 

 

 

 

 


(a)                  Place of Work

Information on place of work is arguably more important than the employment structure of the resident population due to the importance of commuting.  Available information is however limited. The Labour Force Survey implies that the number of jobs in Port of Spain proper is around 89,000 – equivalent to around 20% of the national total.  To this figure can be added around another 19,000 jobs located in the outer parts of the Study Area.  Overall, the Study Area therefore contains almost one quarter of all employment in the country, compared with around 10% of the population.

Table 3.14 shows the importance of government jobs in Greater Port of Spain: almost 40% of jobs are in this sector (including direct employees and those working in government enterprises).  The study area accounts for over 1/3rd of all direct government jobs and almost 20% of employment in government enterprises. Greater Port of Spain also has over a quarter of all private sector employment.

In this context, the proposed relocation of some 3,000 government jobs to St. Joseph may not have a major impact on the economy of the Study Area.

Table 3.14   Jobs in the Study Area, 1995-97

AREA

JOBS by Type of Worker

 

TOTAL

 

Govt-Service

Govt-Enter

Private

Self-Empl

Employer

Other

Port of Spain

89200

32500

4250

44500

5000

2100

850

Outer Areas

19300

4630

400

11600

2010

520

150

GPoS

108500

37130

4650

56100

7010

2620

1000

Rest of T and T

336700

67270

19950

148400

68890

15580

16600

T and T

445200

104400

24600

204500

75900

18200

17600

GPoS as % of T and T

24%

36%

19%

27%

9%

14%

6%

Percentage Distributions

GPoS

 

34%

4%

52%

6%

2%

1%

Rest of T and T

 

20%

6%

44%

20%

5%

5%

T and T

 

23%

6%

46%

17%

4%

4%

Source: Labour Force Survey, 1997

 

 
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


The importance of the government sector means that a much higher percentage of jobs in the Study area are in larger establishments (employing 10 or more persons).  The percentage of employment in large establishments exceeds 80% in the Study Area compared with just over 50% in the rest of the country.

 

 

Some indication of the distribution of employment within the Study Area is provided by the distribution of establishments (i.e. business places) and institutions (essentially community facilities, churches, the prison, he hospital, etc.), contained in the 1990 Census (Table 3.15).  Over 70% of all establishments are to be found in Port of Spain proper.  Almost 40% of the total are located in the central area (i.e. the area bounded by the Savannah, Charlotte St/Piccadilly St., the waterfront and Cipriani Ave/ Colville St.) – 28% are located Downtown (South of Park St. and 10% in Uptown (between Park St. and the Savannah).

Additionally 16% are located in St. Clair, Newtown and Woodbrook. The Table also shows the concentrations of establishments in St. James and Maraval. In more residential areas, the ratio of establishments per 1000 population drops to below 20. The national average is 32. It reaches 450 in the Central Area.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Table 3.15   Establishments and Institutions in the Study Area

District

Sub-district

Establishments

Institutions

TOTAL

%

Estabs/1000 pop.

Port of Spain

4831

103

4934

72%

107

West Outer

Cocorite/St.James

551

11

562

8%

61

West Inner

Woodbrook/ St. Clair/Newtown

1044

30

1074

16%

167

Uptown

N. of Park St.

699

13

712

10%

274

Downtown

S. of Park St..

1859

23

1882

28%

1106

Central

 

2558

36

2594

38%

451

East 

Belmont/Gonzales/ E.Dry River

678

26

704

10%

29

(d)                 Diego Martin

598

13

611

9%

29

Upper St. James

Fort George/Bournes Rd/Dibe

162

3

165

2%

14

Maraval

Ellerslie/Boissiere/La Seiva

436

10

446

7%

48

(e)                  St. Anns

1224

68

1292

19%

21

St. Anns

St. Anns/Cascade

137

12

149

2%

23

Laventille

Upper Belmont/Gonzales

181

17

198

3%

16

Laventille

Ovid/Picton/E. Quarry

161

0

161

2%

17

Laventille

Troumacaque/Success/

Beetham

436

25

461

7%

34

Laventille

Sub-Total

778

42

820

12%

23

 

 
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Table 3.15   Establishments and Institutions in the Study Area

(Cont’d…)

District

Sub-district

Establishments

Institutions

TOTAL

%

Estabs/1000 pop.

Morvant

Morvant/ Caledonia 1

116

5

121

2%

24

Morvant

Romain Lands/Marie Rd./Mon Repos

116

1

117

2%

13

Morvant

Sub-Total

309

14

323

5%

17

GREATER PORT OF SPAIN

6653

184

6837

100%

53

Source: 1990 Census.

 

 
 

 

 

 

 

 


In practice the concentration of employment will be even greater than is shown by Table 3.15. Table 3.14 shows that around 90,000 jobs (just over 80%) is located in Port of Spain.  The great majority of these will be located in the central area as this is where the larger establishments are concentrated.  In 1980, around 73% of Port of Spain jobs were concentrated in this area – applying this percentage to the current total would mean that over 65,000 jobs are located in the central area (just under 60%) of the total.  This is likely to be an overestimate given the oft  mentioned trend of commercial development in Newtown/St. Clair and Woodbrook.  A tentative estimate of the current number of jobs in the central area would be 55-60,000.  Of these, probably around 75% are located Downtown and 25% Uptown.  Around 20% of the Port of Spain jobs could be located in St. Clair/ Woodbrook.  Table 3.16 contains an indicative distribution of the current distribution of jobs in the major parts of Port of Spain is contained; this is unlikely to be fully accurate but is provided to inform the planning process.

              

 

District

Jobs

Percentage

St. James/Cocorite

6000

7%

St. Clair/ Woodbrook/ Newtown

18000

20%

Uptown

14000

16%

Downtown

44000

49%

Central Area

58000

65%

Belmont/ E. Dry River/ Clifton Hill

7000

8%

PORT OF SPAIN

89,000

100%

Source: Consultants’ Estimates

 

 
Table 3.16   Location of Jobs within Port of Spain (tentative)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

There is little comprehensive information on trends in the number of jobs located within the Study Area. The 1988 Planning document for Port of Spain proper estimated that there were around 83,000 jobs located within the area, 73% of which (c. 60,000) were located in the central area.  The total number of jobs located within PoS is estimated at 89,000 implying a small net increase of 6000 between 1980 and the mid- 1990s. 

The number within the central area is difficult to assess (the above estimate is only tentative).  The principal trends are almost certainly increasing employment in the Uptown area and some decrease in the Downtown area as evidenced by the number of vacant sites and the poor quality of much of the fabric.   Notwithstanding this the major employers remain Downtown (the ports, the government) and the area is awash with small traders.  The most likely overall trend would thus seem to be: some decrease in the Downtown area, significant increases Uptown and probably little change overall.

 

(b)                 Relationship between Place of Work and Labour Supply

Table 3.17 compares the 1995-97 data from the Labour Force Survey on labour supply and demand in the Study Area.  Net commuting into the Study area is around 57,000 representing more than half the jobs located in Greater Port of Spain.

This proportion rises to almost 80% for Port of Spain proper.  A maximum of around half the net commuting could be supplied by residents of Diego Martin and St. Anns living outside the Study Area with the residue (around 29,000) coming from elsewhere, e.g. Arima and Caroni.  These figures will rise should job growth in Port of Spain exceed population and employment growth.  It should be emphasised that these are net commuting flows. In practice, there will be significant ‘reverse’ commuting, e.g. between Diego Martin / Port of Spain and the Eastern corridor which will mean higher commuting flows across the Capital Region.

Table 3.17   Labour Supply and Demand in Greater Port of Spain

 

Labour Demand (Jobs)

Labour Supply (employment)

Balance  (commuting)

Commuting %)

Port of Spain

89200

18900

70300

79%

Outer Areas

19300

32555

-13255

-69%

GPoS

108500

51455

57045

53%

Rest of Diego Martin and St. Anns

35850

62945

-27095

-76%

Rest of T and T

336700

393745

29950

9%

T and T

 

445200

445200

0

0%

Source: Consultants’ Estimates derived from 1997 Labour Force Survey

 

 
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


3.3.3                                                     Future Employment Growth

(a)                  Labour Supply

Employment projections prepared for the NCDP, based on assumptions about future participation rates and unemployment, imply a 28% increase (1.2% annually) over the next 20 years.  This growth rate is higher than that projected for  the population as a whole due to the changing age structure and the above-mentioned assumptions related to participation and unemployment rates.

It is however significantly lower than the projected growth rate for households (2.0%) per annum.  The projected number of employees per household is expected to decrease from 1.38 to 1.23. 

The future number of households in the Study Area is subject to considerable uncertainty given the absence of obvious sites for major residential development.  The NCDP ‘target’ for the Study Area was 7,000 new households. Whilst this appears to be at the limit of what might be achievable given the constraints imposed by current densities and topography, it does provide a basis for estimating future labour supply within the Study Area. The total number of households within the Study Area would therefore be around 46,000. 

Currently, the number of employees per household in the Study Area is approximately 1.3, significantly lower than the national figure.  Assuming that this disparity is eliminated by 2020, the labour supply for Greater Port of Spain in 2020 will be 1.23 x 46,000, i.e. 57,000. 

The current labour supply is 51,500 which implies an increase of 6,500 workers over the next 20 years.  If the current ratio of employees to households (1.3) were maintained, the increase would rise to over 8,000.

These projections show that employment supply in Greater Port of Spain is unlikely to increase by more than 8,000 over the next 20 years and could well be much lower if it proves impossible to provide housing for 7,000 new households.  The key implication is that any increases in employment demand above these figures will need to be accommodated by increased commuting.

(b)                 Employment Demand

At present, the number of jobs located within the Study Area far exceeds labour supply leading to a net deficit of around 57,000.  The preceding projections indicate that this deficit is unlikely to be reduced significantly by increase in labour supply from within Greater Port of Spain.

There is no hard information on the trend in the number of jobs located within the Study Area.

There has undoubtedly been an increase in the Uptown area (including St. Clair and Newtown) and to the west of the central area (Woodbrook); additionally job growth has been more intense along the Eastern Corridor.  Whether this has been associated with a decrease in the number of jobs located within the central area or the Study Area as a whole is however open to question (see 2.3.2). The most likely trend is that the proportion of jobs within the Study Area relative to the Capital Region as a whole has decreased, as has the proportion located within the central area.

In contrast to the provision of housing, the potential for increasing jobs in the Study Area is almost limitless – if fully implemented, the waterfront development will add up to 700,000 sq. m. of gross, non-residential, floor area: there are any number of vacant or under-utilised sites within the central area; there are continuing pressures for increased commercial development in residential areas adjacent to the town centre.

A high estimate of the number of jobs to be accommodated in the Study Area over the next 20 years is around 39,000.  This is based on the national NCDP projection and assumes that the Study Area will continue to maintain its current share (24%) of all jobs in the country. Maximising the possibilities for increased employment described above could almost certainly achieve this level of provision.

NCDP policies are however for a degree of decentralisation whilst maintaining Port of Spain as the national business and financial centre.  The labour supply constraints described in the preceding section and the associated need to increase commuting will also act as a natural constraint to achieving this level of increase.

If jobs in the Study Area are to be substantially increased, two things must occur:

·         Housing provision must be maximised

·         The capacity of the transportation network must be increased.

3.3.4                                                     Sectoral Employment Projections

Projections of changes in major employment sectors were produced during the preparation of the NCDP.  These are considered to be highly indicative given the uncertainty surrounding the assumptions regarding sectoral economic growth and productivity, which underpin them.

These projections imply that around 60% of new job creation would be in the commercial (including tourism), financial and other services sectors.  Conversely relatively little growth is anticipated in manufacturing, agriculture, government or oil/gas.  The implication is that many of these jobs will, as the economy matures, require a demand for office accommodation.  In particular, the jobs in the financial/ business sector could increase (nationally) by around 20,000 over the next 20 years.

3.4                                                          Summary and Conclusions

The current population of Greater Port of Spain is around 130,000.  There are approximately 40,000 households giving an average household size of 3.3 persons, well below the national average of 3.6.  The Study Area is split between the wards of Port of Spain, Diego Martin and St. Anns.

Just under half the population is located in St. Anns ward; the population of Port of Spain proper is around 40-45,000.  (There is no information available from the 2000 Census so 2000 estimates and trends during the 1990s has been estimated).

The population of Greater Port of Spain declined from 143,000 in 1980 its current level due both to national demographic trends and out-migration to Diego Martin, the Eastern Corridor and Caroni.  The number of households has however increased slightly.

The most rapidly expanding area are the hills to the North of Lady Young Road (Romain Lands, Marie Road, Mon Repos).  The other valley/ Hillside areas (e.g. Dibe, Dundonald Hill, Maraval) have also seen house construction – generally either by the richest or the poorest income groups.  Elsewhere growth has been constrained by existing high densities, the lack of developable land, and the expansion of commercial activities into hitherto residential areas (e.g. Woodbrook). 

The future population (and number of households) will depend on trends in house construction.  The capacity of the Study Area to accommodate more housing is limited:

·         densities in most areas are high

·         there are few easily developable sites for new housing

·         there are continuing pressures for commercial development in areas such as Woodbrook, St. Clair and Newtown

·         it is doubtful whether hillside development will be allowed to increase significantly in the future.

It is estimated that the Study Area is unlikely to be able to accommodate significantly more than about 6,000 additional households in the future without radical changes in policy. The eventual figure could be significantly lower.  This estimate is based on increasing densities and multiple-occupation and allows for a 10% increase in the hillside/ valley areas. No allowance has been made for a further decline in the population in Port of Spain proper.

At present, around 110,000 jobs are located in the Study Area, just under one quarter of the national total. 80% of these are located in Port of Spain proper and around half in the Downtown/ Uptown area.  There is little information on locational shifts of employment between Greater Port of Spain and the rest of the Capital Region, the absolute change in jobs in the Study Area or shifts within it.

The most likely trends are a reducing share of jobs within the Study Area, an increasing share of jobs outside the main Downtown/ Uptown area and a shift within the central area from downtown to uptown.

The potential for increasing jobs in the study Area is almost limitless.  More employment can be accommodated in the waterfront development, vacant sites in the central area, the adjacent residential areas, and through increases in building heights.  The future number of jobs will depend on policies towards the exploitation of the above opportunities, future economic growth, decentralisation and commercial trends.  If the Study Area were to retain its current share of the national total for employment, around 39,000 new jobs would be required. 

The potential increase in labour supply from the Study Area over the next 20 years is likely to be no more than around 6,500.  Any increase in jobs over this amount will have to be met by a concomitant increase in commuting.

Allied to existing policies for decentralisation, it thus appears desirable to plan for significantly fewer than 39,000 additional jobs.

The other principal implication is that policies should maximise the provision of residential accommodation throughout the Study Area.  These policies could include some or all of the following:

·         Increasing densities in existing residential areas by relaxing development controls (building heights and density controls) and permitting multiple occupation

·         Formulating guidelines which increase the provision of housing in the hilly areas where development has already taken place whilst maintaining environmental conditions.  The feasibility of relaxing design standards to enable incremental hillside development by middle and lower income groups should be considered

·         Increasing housing provision in the waterfront developments

·         Strengthening the controls on changes of use from residential to commercial in existing housing areas.

In 1995, it was estimated that only 30% of households could afford a completed house.  The remainder could either afford a core house or required subsidies if existing official standards were to be maintained.  These proportions will have changed since then given the upturn in the economy and will continue to do so in the future.

By 2020, over 40% of households could afford a complete house with under 30% requiring subsidies. The objective of any housing policy must be to provide appropriate housing for all sections of the population.  Given current trends where developers provide high cost housing and the poorest squat, the clear priorities are to increase housing provision for middle and lower income households. This may not be possible without introducing a substantial degree of flexibility into current building development standards and controls.

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