CH&PA refutes malicious, misleading and grossly inaccurate online article

Central Housing and Planning Authority, Press Release – Sunday, February 3, 2019

The Central Housing and Planning Authority is concerned, by the attempts of an online news outfit to mislead the public on our Adequate Housing and Urban Accessibility Program.

In an article published on its website today, February 2, 2019, under the headline “CH&PA accused of discriminatory practices in Urban Accessibility Program”; the writer claimed to have interviewed persons who allegedly complained that they were prevented from accessing housing home improvement subsidies because of their ethnicity. The Agency deems this article malicious, misleading and grossly inaccurate.

We wish to categorically state that the agency, at present is not disbursing any grants for home improvement but was up to Friday, February 1, accepting applications from qualified Guyanese for Core Home Support and Home Improvement Subsidies. That process ran for a period of three months, starting on November 1, 2018, and ended on February 1, 2019.

It should also be noted that a person is only turned away if he/she does not satisfy the requirements which include; living within the boundaries, have a gross household income of $75,000 maximum and living and occupying a property which sits on a low-income land, valued no more than $300,000. Running concurrently with the registration, interviewing and application process was verification process which is still ongoing. In addition, the beneficiary selection process will not be concluded before August.

So, it is disingenuous and inaccurate for the news outfit to even suggest that the CH&PA has started disbursing grants when we have not reached that stage. The Adequate Housing and Urban Accessibility Programme commenced in 2017 with a series of consultations and sensitization in the beneficiary communities, followed by the three months registration process which commenced in November 2018.

The last days of the registration process attracted an overwhelming response which saw our hard-working team in the Community Development Department working into the nights to ensure that everyone who satisfied the requirements was registered and interviewed. It is not the practice of the Central Housing and Planning Authority to discriminate against anyone wishing to access our services. Over the years our track record has shown that we have served Guyanese from all walks of life, all ethnicity and created services and products to suit persons who fall in all income brackets.

The Adequate Housing and Urban Accessibility Program is an IDB funded project which is being executed in communities which falls between LBI on the East Coast of Demerara to Diamond on the East Bank of Demerara in Region 4 and in the five communities in Region 3: La Parfaite Harmonie, Recht-Door-Zee, Westminister, Lust-en-Rust and Onderneeming.

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