Gov’t seeing reduction in backlog of house lot applications – Min. Rodrigues

Minister within the Ministry of Housing and Water, Susan Rodrigues, MP, says there has been a significant reduction in the buildup of house lot applications, as the Ministry continues its expansive housing programme of allocating 50,000 house lots over the next five years.

With over 6,500 families receiving house lots so far from the PPP/C Government, Minister Rodrigues said there is no reason for persons to squat.

“By the end of our first term in office, there will be no need for any Guyanese to squat or to occupy any portion of land illegally. Enough lands will be made available to every single Guyanese who is entitled to a portion of land, so that they can live in dignity, so that they can have security over their head knowing that their roof is their own.

“So, they can have something to leave for their children and so that they can live in wholesome and sustainable communities.”

Minister within the Ministry of Housing and Water, Susan Rodrigues, MP

There are some 200 informal settlements across the country. Minister Rodrigues said some of these will be regularised.

Since the PPP/C Administration took office in August last year, the Central Housing and Planning Authority (CH&PA) received some 11,900 house lot applications, over 9,000 of which are of persons between the ages of 21 and 39.

Minister Rodrigues said this shows the confidence the younger generation has in the Government.

“We don’t want to let them down; we don’t want to let anyone down and we take our commitment very seriously. And the emphasis is not on house lot allocation, but the emphasis as we have said repeatedly, is on home ownership, that is our focus. And that is why we have an aggressive housing construction drive in all regions,” Minister Rodrigues said.

Minister within the Ministry of Housing and Water, Susan Rodrigues, MP, interacts with house lot applicants

To this end Government has, within its first year in office, introduced a plethora of interventions in the housing sector, designed to make home ownership easier.

The Administration has increased the low-income threshold from $8 million to $10 million to allow low-income earners to benefit from increased loans from commercial banks.

Approval has also been given to the New Building society (NBS) to raise the loan ceiling to $15 million dollars, giving allottees more access to finance to construct their homes.

An open area of land on the East Bank Demerara

Also, to assist low-income earners, the Government has partnered with the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) under the Adequate Housing and Urban Accessibility Programme. This partnership would provide persons in difficult circumstances the opportunity to tap into grants of up to $500,000 to improve their homes.

They could also enjoy a better quality of life through the improvement of the infrastructure in their communities.

Persons in Sophia and La Parfaite Harmonie have already seized this opportunity. The CH&PA is spending some $18 billion on several contracts to construct road networks, drainage and irrigation systems and provide infrastructure for electricity and water in 22 new and existing housing schemes in Regions Three, Four, Five and Six.

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