Credit Unions could provide low interest mortgages

GINA, GUYANA, Wednesday, April 05, 2017

The Guyana Cooperative Credit Union League (GCCUL) plans to join with the Central Housing and Planning Authority (CH&PA) to facilitate low interest mortgages to its members for the purchasing of the housing units.

The Guyana Defence Force (GDF) ranks at Base Camp Ayanganna for the CH&PA meeting

This was revealed today when the Ministry of Communities and CH&PA officials met with the ranks of the Guyana Defense Force (GDF) at Base Camp Ayanganna in Thomas Lands.

Speaking to the ranks, Minister within the Ministry of Communities with responsibility for housing, Valerie Adams-Patterson, said that the matter of low interest loans was discussed at the meeting with the Credit Union League.

She explained that coming out of that meeting yesterday, the League has agreed to put forward for approval at its Annual General Meeting (AGM), a proposal that its membership body provides loans to finance the cost of homes for its respective members.

“Rather than you having to go to the bank and pay how much percentage interest; your credit union will pay us for the apartment and you pay them one percent interest,” the minister said, explaining to the ranks how the proposed plan will work.

She urged those ranks that are currently not a member of any union to “get on board a credit union,” to be able to benefit from the

Minister within the Ministry of Communities with responsibility for housing, Valerie Adams-Patterson addressing the GDF ranks

partnership. Those ranks already a part of credit unions were also urged to get their unions to support the initiative.

“If your executive body is reluctant to come on board the league with this, then you are the one that have to say this is what we want,” the minister pointed out.

The minister noted that the initiative has the potential to, “see every single soldier owning their own home, and that would be a big plus for Guyana and a big plus for the army,” the minister said.

The Guyana Cooperative Credit Union League is the umbrella body for over 24 credit unions across Guyana including the Clerical and Commercial Workers Cooperative Credit Union Limited, the Guyana Police Force Cooperative Credit Union Limited and the Guyana Defence Force Cooperative Credit Union Limited.

The League has a membership of 26,589, and a total asset of $21,614,480. The League AGM is set for May 2016.

During that meeting the League will discuss the possible collaboration with the housing department and the option of self-help persons identified for homeownership provide labour to help reduce cost of construction.

This feature will especially benefit those persons who may be unable to contribute much financial capital to the cost of their homes, Minister Adams-Patterson explained.

She said that by accepting this feature, the CH&PA will be able to explore the possibility of rolling out a separate housing programme that incorporates self-help.

Minister within the Ministry of Communities with responsibility for housing, Valerie Adams-Patterson and staff of the Central Housing and Planning Authority (CH&PA) including the Chief Executive Officer (CEO,) Lelon Saul at the meeting with the Guyana Defence Force (GDF) ranks at Base Camp Ayanganna

Meanwhile, Chief Executive Officer, CH&PA, Lelon Saul, explained that the housing solutions are in response to the need to move away from “just the delivery of serviced lots,’ at a cost to both the government and the prospective recipient.

“We recognise that in many cases, several persons are unable to access mortgage financing and as a result there are several unoccupied lots throughout our schemes and, apart from that, the cost of developing housing schemes is bothersome,” the CH&PA CEO said.

Saul noted that the CH&PA has in excess of 25,000 live applications in its system and is looking in to 28000 lots that were allocated but remain unoccupied.

“The point is that, that solution in terms of giving out house lots is not feasible, it is not sustainable and so we had to come up with alternative solutions,” he said.

He assured those ranks who had reservations about the new housing initiatives that several factors were taken into consideration when designing the units including durability and privacy.

The government’s new housing solution caters for the construction of 265 duplexes and 38 townhouses and should benefit 758 families in

A GDF rank seeks further clarification on some of points made during the meeting

2017. The intervention is across ten areas in six regions.

The duplexes are of three different designs and to be built of concrete and wood. Each duplex will house three units of 800 square feet (sq. ft.) and each unit will feature two bedrooms, a living room, kitchen and washroom facility.  The town houses will have six units; four two-story units in the middle and one-flat units at each end of the building. These end units are designed for elderly persons or those persons with a physical disability.

The government engineer’s estimates place the cost of these units at $5 to $7 million. The government expects to start construction of the housing unit by the end of June



By: Macalia Santos