Gov’t eyes repossession of private developers’ lands for its housing programmes

GINA, GUYANA, Thursday, March 02, 2017

Efforts by the government to make lands available for its housing development programmes will see focus being placed on the hundreds of acres of prime lands that were sold to private developers. Many of these lands were issued under the previous administration to be developed as housing areas, but are yet to be utilised.

“We believe it is not right for large swaths of lands to be lying idle while we are trying our best all around to find land for people,” Minister of State, Joseph Harmon  said today at a post-Cabinet media briefing held at the Ministry of the Presidency.

During the previous administration, several private developers were given large tracts of land, under the agreement that they would develop housing estates.

The current administration on assuming office,  found that many of the developers had sub-divided and sold off the lands as house lots at prices 10 times more than what they would have paid for  them.

Since the discovery, the new administration would have served the itinerant private developers notice, indicating that they must complete the infrastructural works and housing units that they had committed to under the agreement of sale of the lands.

The developers were put on notice that “once the time had expired and nothing significant was done,  then the government will enter into renegotiation, with the view of repossessing these lands for better use by the community,” Minister Harmon highlighted.

Harmon explained that the government is still working towards this process of repossessing these lands, especially as it seeks to have the land space to pursue its new initiative of developing housing units for low-income earners.

The minister however, noted that due process must be followed. Recently, Minister of Communities, Ronald Bulkan, had told the media that the Central Housing and Planning Authority (CHPA) had sought legal advice from the Attorney General (AG) on moving forward to repossess the lands.

In the development of the housing units of town houses, duplexes and apartments, the government is also in discussion with the Guyana Sugar Company (GuySuCo) to acquire lands for the construction of the units, Minister Harmon said.

The minister explained that in the restructuring of the sugar company one of the options that is available to the government is the utilisation of several other acres of land that will no longer be utilised for the cultivation of sugar canes.

 

By: Macalia Santos

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