Soldiers laud government’s housing initiative for GDF ranks

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Sergeant Kessa Messiah(top left),Second Lieutenant of GDF, Crystal Crawford(top right),Sergeant Deoraj Sooklall(bottom left),Sergeant Deoraj Sooklall(botttom right)

Ranks of the Guyana Defence Force (GDF) were on Wednesday engaged by the Ministry of Housing and Water’s Central Housing and Planning Authority (CHPA) about housing related matters. 

Ranks were pre-qualified for loans for home construction and those who were allocated house lots had the opportunity to apply for the cement and steel housing assistance. 

The event was hosted at Base Camp Ayanganna, Georgetown. This in keeping with President, Dr Mohamed Irfaan Ali’s recent commitment to the joint services. 

Members of the disciplined forces lauded the government’s initiative which will allow them to capitalise on the various opportunities. 

First-time applicant, Sergeant Kessa Messiah expressed that the housing outreach will be beneficial for everyone. 

“I think that this is a great initiative, making an effort to reach the soldiers. Because we know that not all of us can have that time to come to housing. And housing [ministry] coming to us is a great help. Most of these soldiers are on deployment or at work and they don’t have the time.” 

She added that, “We know that rent and these things are expensive. It’s better to pay a mortgage than to pay rent.” 

Coast Guard, Leon Benjamin noted that service men and women across the country are grateful for the initiative. He shared: “It’s refreshing to know that we’re being thought of and an initiative like this could be instituted for us. Securing a house and land for my family is of paramount importance. Today, I hope to maximise on this opportunity.” 

Second Lieutenant of the Guyana Defence Force (GDF), Crystal Crawford said, “I think it’s a great initiative for coming here to meet with service men and women that have been serving for a while. This is to give them that opportunity to own their own lands and homes. Kudos to the government.” 

Crawford described President Ali as “a man of his word.” 

Another first-time applicant, Sergeant Deoraj Sooklall of the GDF, stated that, “It’s a good initiative for the soldiers in the Guyana Defence Force…This is the first time I am getting the opportunity to apply since I am out of town most of the times.” 

GDF Warrant Officer, Dwayne Daniels said the initiative is a privilege for many since it provides the ranks with the opportunity to construct their homes. 

Staff Sergeant of GDF, Ronny Carter highlighted that he would take advantage of the cement and steel initiative since he has his house lot. 

“I would take as much opportunity that is available and try to make the best of it. Iam very elated and very excited about this initiative,” he said. 

He added that this outreach will be beneficial since it will give many soldiers the opportunity to build now rather than when they are ready to retire from the force. 

Sergeant Sheneeza Gordon noted that, “I am quite excited because I would have applied a very long time. This comes like an opportunity for me after waiting for so long.”

Lieutenant of GDF, Delon Willis expressed, “I’m happy for this opportunity that they are here at Base Camp Ayanganna and we can actually capitalise on this opportunity. I’m grateful to the president for his commitments that he has made to the military and lots of initiatives are being rolled out.” 

Housing and Water Minister, Collin Croal during remarks highlighted how important homeownership is for everyone.  

Minister Croal also alluded to the various initiatives that were implemented to guarantee that people can obtain financing to construct or pay for their homes easily.  

“This is how we operate as a government…to ensure that we work with all possible institutions so that we can encourage each one of you to have your own home and to have your own environment. Because when you are concentrating on protecting the state, you have a secured environment for your children and family. That is what we all strive to ensure…to have betterment for ourselves and our families,” Minister Croal underlined. 

Meanwhile, Chief of Staff, Brigadier Godfrey Bess lauded the government for ensuring that the ranks have easy access to homeownership.

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