Housing and Water Minister, Collin Croal has reiterated that the goal of the PPP/C Administration, through his ministry, is to enhance the lives of all Guyanese, empowering them with the opportunity to own their own homes.
To this end, the minister disclosed that some allottees at Plantation La Reconnaissance, on the East Coast of Demerara, should be able to access their house lots by the end of February.
Over 1, 700 allocations were done for that area.
“This area was allotted in seven lots when we tendered out. It is about $2.5 billion of investment here, and of that amount, we have spent about $800 million of work. We want, by the end of February to start showing two of those lots, and the remaining set between March and April.”
The minister said there have been a few delays and challenges regarding accessibility, but he assured that they are working assiduously to provide persons with the opportunity to view their lots.
Meanwhile, the minister inspected the construction works on the homes for the informal settlers at Annandale North, East Coast Demerara, noting that these families will be able to relocate to their new homes by the end of February as well.
“This is the kind of initiative you will see happening a lot more this year. We have had an initial focus on allocation, but that has been to catch up on what we needed to do for the people. Those allocations will continue,” the minister said.
When the PPP/C administration resumed office in 2020, they were met with a tremendous backlog of applications, and the housing ministry has been working assiduously to tackle this.
Since assuming office, 20,500 house lots have been allocated in new and existing housing schemes, with a goal of distributing 50,000 in the first term.
“But, the other real hard work is working in communities to elevate them, give them an opportunity to have a comfortable environment, give them an opportunity to have an area that they can be happy about. This is one of the models we are using to eradicate and address a number of these squatting settlements and areas,” Minister Croal underscored.
He noted that this model will be replicated along the East Bank of Demerara.
This comes on the heels of His Excellency, Dr Mohamed Irfaan Ali’s visit to the area in September last year, where he committed to relocating the 15 squatting families living along the sea defence reserve.
Immediately following the president’s visit, Minister Croal and his team engaged the residents of the community and assured them that construction of these homes would soon begin.
“Ten of them have opted for the house, and the remaining five have indicated that they will build, but they will have to complete in a similar time too, because we want, within two to three months, for those persons to be relocated,” Minister Croal explained.
The minister reiterated that no new squatting areas will be recognised.
“We know what we met, we know what the situation is. We have an assessment of all those areas where we have settlements. We have a Community Development Department that has been working overtime because while we want to address relocation, a lot of activities have to take place for regularisation as well.”
The housing and water minister said works are 60 per cent complete on the homes for these families.
“Government will help to improve lives, but also, you have to want this for yourselves. You have to play your role in wanting betterment for yourselves and your families. We will be working continuously with all communities,” he expressed.