Some 700 residents of Essequibo Islands–West Demerara (Region Three) were allocated house lots at an exercise held by the Ministry of Housing and Water through the Central Housing and Planning Authority (CH&PA).
The exercise was held at the Leonora Track and Field Facility on Wednesday. The lots were allocated to individuals within the low, moderate, middle, and high-income brackets at the Stewartville and Meten-Meer-Zorg housing schemes.
Minister of Housing and Water, Collin Croal; Minister within the Ministry of Housing and Water, Susan Rodrigues; Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Housing and Water, Andre Ally; Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of CH&PA, Sherwyn Greaves, as well as, Regional Vice-Chairman of Region Three, Omesh Satyanand were present at the activity and addressed beneficiaries.
Upon taking office in 2020, the new government met an application backlog of more than 14,000 in the region. Minister Croal stated that the Dr. Mohamed Irfaan Ali-led administration has allocated 4,259 house lots to residents at previous exercises in the past two years, as compared to just over 700 house lots under the Coalition government in five years (2015-2020).
“That means that you have a government that understands the necessity of ensuring we are able to respond to the plight of our people. You have a government that is caring, that is not only looking at your infrastructural needs but also your social needs and housing is one,” said Minister Croal.
Minister Croal also highlighted that the first phase of infrastructure work was completed in a number of new housing areas, while the second phase will commence under his Ministry’s 2023 work programme.
Over 100 homes are expected to be completed soon, while construction for another 100 is expected to commence by the end of the year. Works are also ongoing in existing housing schemes. Some 28 applicants pre-approved under the Steel and Cement Housing Subsidy Programme are expected to receive the voucher for their materials in a few weeks.
The Minister also outlined several other projects that will transform the region, such as the Schoonord to Crane four-lane Highway and the Wales Development Project.
Meanwhile, Minister Rodrigues in her remarks stated that the government’s housing drive seeks not only to provide house lots but also to ensure that these options are affordable for Guyanese, especially vulnerable groups.
“This is our goal of ensuring affordable homeownership for Guyanese, regardless of which region you live in, you will see several initiatives rolled out across the country, including our hinterland regions,” Minister Rodrigues stated.
Permanent Secretary Ally added that as part of this goal, house lots allocated are heavily subsidized. Beneficiaries were also urged to begin construction of their homes soon, as CEO Greaves highlighted the important role of housing in enhancing their quality of life and generational wealth creation.
So far, the government has allocated approximately 19,000 house lots over the past two years countrywide. With just one major housing drive left for this year, the Ministry of Housing and Water and CH&PA aim to allocate a total of 20,500 house lots by year-end.