A Home for the Holidays: Five Low-Income Families Receive Core Homes

On Friday afternoon, five low-income families received the gift of a new Core Home for Christmas. The keys to the homes, as well as Electrical Certificate and Completion Certificate, were handed over by the Minister of Housing and Water, Hon. Collin Croal, alongside Deputy Director of Community Development, Mrs. Donell Bess-Bascom and staff.

The new homeowners are Tandasey O’Neil, Lot 4451 Lust-En-Rust; Candase Wrights, Lot 4433 Lust-En-Rust; Burton Kelly, Lot 4083 Lust-En-Rust; and Antonio Alexis, Lot 4062 Lust-En-Rust in Region Three; and Hilbert Pilgrim of Lot 1641 Section ‘B’ Block ‘X’ Great Diamond, East Bank Demerara in Region Four.

Minister of Housing and Water, Hon. Collin Croal

The homes, constructed under the Adequate Housing and Urban Accessibility Programme (AHUAP), are funded by the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) and executed through the Ministry of Housing and Water-Central Housing and Planning Authority. Priced at nearly $5 million each, these homes offer two bedrooms, a kitchen, and washroom facilities.

Minister Croal emphasized that this initiative is part of the Ministry’s broader programme to assist vulnerable households in achieving homeownership.

The Minister stated, “this is another testimony of what we’ve been doing at the Ministry of Housing and Water, as part of our programme. It’s not just about the allocating of lots but also to encourage homeownership and also address a niche, in terms of society and those in different categories”.

One of the Core Home

Within the AHUAP framework, Minister Croal highlighted that more than 75 homes have already been handed over. In Region Three alone, nearly $1.2 billion was expended toward home construction, essential infrastructure like roads, drainage networks, and street lights, and the disbursement of Home Improvement Subsidies. Moreover, plans were unveiled for rehabilitating a community ground and constructing a multipurpose facility in the region. Simultaneously, over $60 million has been utilized so far on the East Bank of Demerara for Core Home construction and the distribution of Home Improvement Subsidies.

One of Friday’s beneficiaries, Mr. Burton Kelly, expressed his gratitude, stating that the new home is a significant upgrade from the small wooden makeshift dwelling he once occupied.

“Today is a new phase in my life. I am so thankful,” Mr. Kelly said as he expressed his appreciation to the Government and IDB.

Ms. Candase Wrights, a mother of five, shared her joy at being able to provide a better home for her family. Coming from humble beginnings, she spoke of the relief from the financial burden of rent.

“This would be a big step that you don’t have to worry about this part anymore, about rent paying and you gon’ have current so that the children could study more effectively at night,” she said.

One of the Core Home

Another beneficiary, Ms. Tandasey O’Neil, described the home as a true Christmas miracle.

“It’s a Christmas present, it came just in time for Christmas and it’s really a blessing…I have three biological children and it will be very nice for us to have our own home and one of the best things about it is that it’s debt-free,” said Ms. O’Neil.

The AHUAP boundary encompasses, the La Parfaite Harmonie Housing Development in Region Three, Georgetown to Grove on the East Bank of Demerara, Region Four; from Georgetown to La Bonne Intention and nineteen other select communities up to Victoria on the East Coast of Demerara, Region Four.