Budgetary allocation to housing ministry increased by 300 per cent
– Min. Rodrigues
The Housing and Water Ministry has seen a 300 per cent increase in its budgetary allocation since the PPP/C Government took office in August 2020.
This was revealed by Minister within the Housing and Water Ministry, Susan Rodrigues during her recent participation in a panel discussion at the Housing Forum 2022, hosted by the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) Group in Washington DC, United States.
She said Guyana has a projected growth rate of 47 per cent. This transfer in investment, she explained, will be trickled down to social services and better infrastructure aimed at improving the well-being of citizens.
“We see the transfer of that wealth to our infrastructure system and to our housing investment, where we have seen the housing allocation increase by 300 per cent from the previous years. There is a lot of investment taking place,” the minister said.
She reiterated that the administration has a national housing programme which caters for all sections of society including the most vulnerable groups including youth, women, persons living with disabilities and the Amerindian people.
Even as the ministry is working tirelessly to reduce the 70,000 pending applications it met in 2020 through its signature ‘dream realised’ house allocation exercise, it continues to see a steady flow of new applicants.
“Of the total applications in our system, 75 per cent of that is from low-income households. So, our housing programme is largely based on supplying affordable housing to our low-income population,” she said.
Minister Rodrigues added, “so when we invest in our housing programme these are the people, these are the groups that are the main beneficiaries.”
The minister highlighted that the housing programme is heavily subsidised by the Government of Guyana.
“So, we subsidise the service hotspots that we distribute. So, 82 per cent is subsidised by the government and only 18 per cent is paid by persons of low affordability. And this has service lots, meaning the government pays for the infrastructure and the installment of the utilities, water, electricity and so on,” she explained.
Minister Rodrigues highlighted the IDB-funded Adequate Housing and Urban Accessibility Programme, where core homes are provided to low-income families. While under the Home Improvement Subsidy initiative component, families living in poor structures are given $500,000 worth of building materials to carry out repairs or expansion to an existing property.
The government has so far distributed more than 16,000 house lots to Guyanese, since taking office in August 2020, in keeping with its target of allocating 50,000 house lots within its first five years in office.