Govt’s policy direction has revolutionised Guyana’s housing sector – President Ali
– Lauds DuraVilla’s 1000+ modular homes initiative for its regional reach
His Excellency Dr Irfaan Ali said that his Government has crafted and implemented a “very deliberate, well-structured, well-positioned, well-articulated, well-researched policy” on forestry, housing and construction with the aim of enhancing the lives of Guyanese.
He said that this policy has seen our forestry “as a true national asset earning carbon credits, earning from the wood product itself, earning from ecotourism, and now we are moving to more scientific areas of biodiversity and pharmaceutical values”.
The Head of State made this assertion during the launch of DuraVilla’s 1000+ modular homes initiative at the company’s Land of Canaan location.
He reminded the gathering that the forestry sector declined significantly from 2015 to 2020 under the previous administration, resulting in the loss of significant export earnings and employment.
The President noted that as a result of the policy decisions taken by his administration upon its return to Government, the sector was again ignited, re-energised and repositioned. This, he added, has led to an increase in production, an improvement in export and an increase in employment.
The President cited Barama’s success story and the company’s transformation from “a company that was closing its doors on the first day at work to a company now that is moving to the expansion in a third production line”.
“That is the result of good Government and good policymaking. That alone would put to rest a lot of the nonsensical, irresponsible narratives that I heard. “
The expansion of the housing sector, the President continued, has created certain pressures; consequently, one of the issues facing exporters is the local price versus the price on the export market.
“What that means is that we have to up production, we have to find ways in which we expand production, come up with new markets, and that is why [CEO of DuraVilla Homes Guyana Inc] Mr Rafeek [Khan] and his team is doing exceedingly well…”
DEPLOYING GUYANA’S STRENGTHS
Speaking to the future of the sector, the President said Guyana’s market is no longer just for Guyanese but rather has become key in the region and further afield.
“Let me be very clear; we don’t only have wood, we have the best quality wood in the world. We don’t only have a forest; we have the most sustainably managed forests in the world, and it is time we deploy our strengths to the benefit of the country. And that is why this investment is so important, and that is why I’ve personally spent so much time with Rafeek on this.”
On this note, he expressed gratitude to Barbadian Prime Minister, the Honourable Mia Mottley and St Vincent and the Grenadines Prime Minister, the Honourable Ralph Gonsalves and other regional leaders for embracing the DuraVilla’s 1000+ modular homes initiative.
He also acknowledged the high standard and quality of the timber homes, which meet Barbados’s requirements to withstand hurricanes and earthquakes.
A high-level team from Grenada is also in Guyana to engage with the company.
“That is no easy accomplishment—and everything is engineered locally. Everything is engineered locally… put your hands together for our local talent…”
He reminded that the PPPC party, in its manifesto, committed to promoting partnerships and catalysing private sector participation in housing.
“This is an example of the Government working with the private sector for a vision beyond Guyana…”
The prefabricated housing market in Latin America and the Caribbean, he said, is promising.
“There are, therefore, opportunities for Guyana to capitalise on this demand for decent housing. But to do so, Guyana must be able to develop competitive housing solutions, and that is what you’re working on. Competitive quality housing solution. The construction of prefabricated housing is, therefore, an emerging market, one which Guyana can and must tap into, in order to boost local manufacturing, and the spin-off effects are enormous…”
The President congratulated the company for its accomplishment while he lauded the private sector’s exceptional work over the past few years.