$54.5B allocated to meet housing demands

Government has allocated $54.5 billion for housing development in both new and existing areas, including the construction of roads, drains, bridges and the installation of utilities to meet housing demands.

This was announced by Senior Minister in the Office of the President with Responsibility for Finance, Dr Ashni Singh, during the presentation of the 2023 National Budget on Monday.

New housing development in Region Four

The areas that will benefit from these infrastructural works include Mabaruma, Oronoque, Buxton/St. Joseph, Stewartville, Wakenaam, Block A & B Hope, Success, Balthyock, and No. 75 Village.

Government will also undertake infrastructure works in regularised areas, such as Charity, Tuschen, Chateau Margot, Block SS Sophia, Belvedere and Amelia’s Ward.

In addition, Minister Singh said the government will be seeking to acquire more lands for new housing areas across the country.

“We are opening new lands. We are putting in place the requisite infrastructure. We are accelerating the allocation process. We are supporting those who require or prefer pre-built homes and we are providing easier access to financing,” he affirmed.

In 2022, the Government of Guyana spent $28.2 billion on infrastructure and housing projects in new areas such as Onderneeming, Charity, Leonora, Cummings Lodge, Diamond, Golden Grove, Non Pareil, Enterprise, Experiment, Williamsburg, Lethem, and Linden. As a result, 10,430 serviced house lots were distributed to Guyanese.

Since the People’s Progressive Party/ Civic (PPP/C) government assumed office in August 2020, it has allocated over 20,000 house lots in new and existing housing schemes, with a goal of distributing 50,000 house lots in its first term in office.

In addition, housing units were constructed targeting low, moderate, and middle-income earners, and young professionals in Prospect, Providence, Cummings Lodge, Ordnance Fortlands among other areas.

Government has implemented various initiatives to assist with homeownership, such as the Home Construction Assistance facility, which partners with banks to provide loans for the construction of houses. To date, 194 persons were pre-qualified for loans through that programme.

The cement and steel subsidy programme for homebuilders was also launched. Under this initiative, persons constructing homes to the tune of $6 million and below could benefit from 80 lengths of ½ inch steel rods, 60 lengths of 3/8 inch steel rods, and one sling of cement. Those with estimates of above $6 million to $25 million will benefit from two slings of cement.

In Region Nine, the government launched the Lethem Housing Support programme, where 600 allottees will benefit from $1 million towards the construction of their homes.  The commercial banks have agreed to offer $2 million loans at 3.5 per cent interest to the beneficiaries without the need for collateral. To date, over 250 persons have already pre-qualified for that programme.