CH&PA will not meet its capital expenditure budget for 2016-Minister Adams-Patterson

GINA, GUYANA, Tuesday, December 06, 2016

Minister within the Ministry of Communities, Valerie Adams-Patterson said that the Central Housing and Planning Authority (CH&PA) has only spent 19.9% of its 2016 expenditure and achieved 30.5% of revenue. The approved budget for the year 2016 for CH&PA was $5.8B.

This amount budgeted was to be spent from the CH&PA’s housing fund, since no subvention for capital and current expenditure was requested from the Consolidated Fund.

Minister within the Ministry of Communities, Valerie Adams-Patterson

Minister within the Ministry of Communities, Valerie Adams-Patterson

During her presentation in support of Budget 2017 in the House today, however, Minister Adams-Patterson explained that the agency was unable to deliver on most of its 2016 target because it was “plagued with numerous challenges with human resources, unfilled positions, lack of capacity in some regards and untimely decision making.”

The Minister however, expressed confidence that this scenario will not continue into 2017 and the budgeted sum will be fully expended by December 31.

And as to what was achieved with the 19.9 percent  of the expenditure, spent in 2016, Minister  Adams-Patterson explained that the expended resources provided for the completion of 1,992  land allocations, for  2,065 Transports and Certificates of Title to be processed and 4,642 Transports and Certificates of Titles to be  issued. She said another 200 allocations were also made towards squatter regularisation.

The agency achievements also include rolling out between the months of March/May the 50/50 Jubilee Payment Plan.  Minister Adams- Patterson noted that 2,881 applicants benefitted from it, of which 2,186 persons were low – middle income earners and 695 high income earners.

Adams-Patterson noted that the plan resulted in increased cash flow of the agency by $590M and the beneficiaries were able to buy building materials to commence construction, as well as settle long, outstanding indebtedness and become land-owners.

In recognition of Guyana’s 50th Anniversary of Independence, CH&PA also announced the distribution of 300 Home Improvement subsidies.  The subsidy provided for households to improve their homes.  The programme offered beneficiaries a maximum of $50,000 worth in building materials, redeemable via vouchers, to effect approved improvement works to their existing basic building. Beneficiaries were drawn from Regions 1, 2, 3, 4, 6, 7, 9 and 10.

The 2016 expenditure also covered the consultation that stretched from Annandale to Linden, to garner views of the public in support of changing the minimum age requirement from 21 years to 18 years to be eligible to apply for a house lot or a housing unit, the Minister said.

CHPA also reviewed the process of allocating house lots, given the approximately 25,000 applications on file, of which almost 18,000 are low income individuals.

Concerns about the low occupancy of many housing developments/areas have led to reviews of the mechanisms used to enable home ownership.

CH&PA also corrected the mistakes inherited with the turn-key housing programme. Minister Adams -Patterson explained that, a Project Manager was hired to supervise that project.  She said currently, 141 of these houses are in progress and projected to be completed on or before December 31, 2016.

By Macalia Santos