Gov’t taking integrated approach in delivery of housing programme
The PPP/C Administration has adopted an integrated approach in the delivery of its national housing programme that guarantees housing affordability for all citizens.
This assurance was given by Housing and Water Minister, Collin Croal during a recent housing outreach in Bartica, Region Seven.
The minister said that when the administration assumed office in August 2020, it set out to deliver on its manifesto promise to deliver 50,000 (10,000 annually) house lots to Guyanese by the year 2025. Two years later, the government is on track with delivering on that undertaking with 16,000 house lots distributed to date.
“While our allocation exercise has been a norm, you will see us…moving forward, especially over the next two and a half years period, you will see us as a PPP/C government, delivering policy, us pushing more homeownership,” he affirmed.
Minister Croal stated that while the house lots allocation exercise has gained momentum across the country, emphasis is being placed on delivering complete housing units to families at all income levels under the turnkey initiative. More than 1,200 housing units are being constructed across Regions Three, Four, Six and Ten, with 300 already handed over to families.
The housing minister revealed that shortly, there will be opportunities for companies to sign agreements with the Central Housing and Planning Authority (CHPA) to deliver affordable homes to persons.
While these initiatives have been focused along the coast in the past, under the PPP/C Administration, focus is also being placed on hinterland communities including Bartica, Region Seven and Lethem, Region Nine.
In Lethem, a $600 million housing initiative was launched that will see the government contributing $1 million each to 600 low-income homeowners to mitigate the cost of their home construction.
The 500 homes project launched recently in Bartica, will see the first 100 young professionals benefitting from three-bedroom houses valued at $9 million per unit.
“So, we are committed to the well-being of every citizen. Whether you are here in Bartica, whether you are in Georgetown, whether you are in Linden, we want to improve the lives of every citizen,” Minister Croal emphasised.
He added, “Our mandate is not just to deliver on house lots, but also to ensure that we can have housing programmes and that we can work with you to reach to that final stage of complete homeownership.”
Minister Croal also reminded of the host of measures implemented to ensure persons can have access to finance to build or pay for their homes.
Only recently, President Dr Irfaan Ali announced a 3.8 per cent interest rate on home loans up to $9 million.
Other measures implemented include; the low-income threshold being raised from $8 million to $12 million, the New Building Society’s loan ceiling increased from $12 million to $15 million and the Mortgage Interest Relief threshold increased from $15 million to $30 million. Value Added Tax (VAT) was also removed from construction materials.
Further, the government launched a Home Construction Assistance Programme to allow persons easy access to finances to construct their homes, while the homebuilder’s support initiative will allow persons to benefit from cement and steel to commence the construction of their homes.