Guyanese face no financial hurdles in accessing mortgages – Minister Rodrigues

Minister within the Ministry of Housing and Water, Susan Rodrigues has asserted that Guyanese face no financial barriers in accessing mortgages to construct their homes.

This, she underscored, is a direct outcome of the government’s deliberate housing policies and programmes aimed at enhancing the well-being of Guyanese citizens while bolstering their financial standing.

Minister within the Ministry of Housing and Water, Susan Rodrigues

Minister Rodrigues made these statements while dismissing the opposition’s proposal for establishing a Special Select Committee (SSE) to review charges for house lots in the National Assembly at Arthur Chung Conference Centre (ACCC), Liliendaal, on Friday.

Minister Rodrigues criticised the presentation by opposition Member of Parliament, Annette Ferguson, noting its focus on personal attacks against PPP/C individuals rather than addressing the actual affordability challenges faced by the people.

“In examining the motion, I try to think about what ill this motion is trying to cure. What prevailing set of circumstances exists that requires a motion of this type? What hardships exist that would require any relief and I am still to hear it,” she pointed out.

Highlighting the inaccuracy of claims made in the motion, the minister debunked the notion of a 20 per cent equity requirement for accessing mortgages.

She clarified that such constraints do not exist, particularly with recent policy changes.

Previously, the equity requirement at institutions like the New Building Society (NBS) ranged from 20 to 25 per cent, but it is now eliminated, facilitating access for low and moderate-income earners.

At the Guyana Bank for Trade and Industry (GBTI), the equity requirement has been reduced to 5 per cent, while at Demerara Bank, it stands at a standard 10 per cent across the board.

Minister Rodrigues told the house, “When you read the annual reports of these banks, they [have] credited the government’s policies for making it possible and easy for people to access housing loans.”

Moreover, she highlighted Guyana’s comparatively low interest rates globally, attributing the decline in interest rates over the past three and a half years to the PPP/C Administration’s strategic interventions.

“Whether the PPP/C is in government or opposition, we will always be a champion for the people. It is reflected in our work. It is reflected in our track record,” Minister Rodrigues stressed.

Homeownership, a central focus for the government, has afforded financial independence and empowerment to families from all strata of society throughout the nation.