1000 house lots distributed at CH&PA’s ‘dream realised’ housing drive
─ Govt on track to deliver 10,000 lots by year-end
Approximately 1,000 Guyanese are now closer to homeownership as the Central Housing and Planning Authority (CH&PA) hosted its sixth ‘Dreams Realised’ housing drive at the National Stadium, Providence.
The allottees received moderate and middle-income house lots at Grove, Great Diamond and Little Diamond, East Bank Demerara.
Ministers Collin Croal and Susan Rodrigues kickstarted the event which serviced persons who had applied for lots prior to 2015.
Among the allottees was Woman Assistant Superintendent of Police Myrna Richards. Superintendent Richards was the victim of an arson attack which saw the destruction of her two vehicles and home which was in the compound of the Vigilance Police Station last month.
Ms. Richards has over 33 years of service in the Guyana Police Force and has been Secretary to seven Commissioners of Police. She was the owner of a plot of land in Diamond, but due to domestic issues, she was forced to sell and split the monies with her ex-husband.
After receiving her land on Friday, the Superintendent said, “I want to thank the Government of Guyana for offering me this house lot. Yes, I can afford it by God’s grace and I will build my new home with the assistance of God and my two children and new husband who is an Inspector of Police.”
Ms. Kimberly Gomes was ecstatic. She said she was amazed to see so many persons getting the opportunity to become homeowners.
“I was surprised that I got the call to come, I am sure like a lot of people… My next step, I will try my very best in terms of occupying my land,” Ms. Gomes said.
Abigale (only name given) also received a plot of land at the housing drive. The young lady said she had applied for her land since 2008 but had a few hiccups which saw her reapplying in 2016.
“After doing such, I received a phone call and I was so amazed at the type of response that I have received in such a short space of time. So, today I am very fortunate I must say, I am happy, I am overwhelmed and I think this is the beginning of a great future for me… My next step is to start looking for some nice designs because everyone dreams of having a nice home and in doing so, start getting myself in order to build,” Ms. Abigale said.
Minister Croal in his address said government is well on track to deliver on its promise of 50,000 house lots by 2025. However, the minister highlighted that while house lots are being allocated, government is actively working to ensure that all the necessary infrastructure are in place.
“We have completed the access bridge at Mocha which will be commissioned soon, and as we speak close to $7 billion is being spent on first phase infrastructure for the upgrading of existing access roads, access bridges, unsurfaced roads, pipe networks, drains and culverts,” the minister stated.
He further added that “similar infrastructural works which are expected to come on stream later in the year in Plantation Golden Grove, Little and Great Diamond areas should see us spend close to $21.5 billion to develop housing areas on the East Bank of Demerara including the new four-lane concrete highway from Eccles to Great Diamond. In short, 2021 and 2022 should see us expend $28 billion.”
Minister Croal noted that two wells are currently being drilled in Providence adding that another should be drilled in Diamond before the end of the year. This, he said is coupled with the upgrade of treatment plants in Eccles, Covent Garden and Grove to increase the treated water coverage and improve levels of services.
Meanwhile, Minister Rodrigues said government’s commitment is not only to distribute house lots but rather, but also on homeownership. The minister said government wants to avoid having schemes which are not fully occupied.
The allocation of house lots the minister said, “is the beginning of our relationship because throughout the process of moving you from an allottee, being able to complete the infrastructure works for you to be able occupy your lots, then to get you from that position, to becoming holders of certificates of title and then being able to take that to the bank and to acquire a loan and to construct your own home, the Ministry of Housing and Water, President Ali and the Government of Guyana will be there with you every step of the way.”
Chief Executive Officer of the Central Housing and Planning Authority, Sherwyn Greaves and Chairperson of the Grove/Diamond Neighbourhood Democratic Council, Indranie Ramnarine also made remarks.
House lot recipients will also have access to several commercial banks and insurance companies to provide financial advice and help kickstart home construction.