Housing Minister ends land title wait for some Lethem residents

– system backlog to be addressed

Minister of Housing and Water, Hon. Collin Croal on Friday ended the wait for land titles for several Lethem, Upper Takutu-Upper Essequibo (Region Nine) residents.

The Minister and a team, including Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Central Housing and Planning Authority (CH&PA) Mr. Sherwyn Greaves, and Permanent Secretary, Mr. Andre Ally visited the region to conduct the exercise.

Minister of Housing and Water, Hon. Collin Croal, addresses Lethem residents at the Amerindian Hostel

“You are a part of our front burner of dealing with regions … Sometimes when we speak to persons they think that we are just coastland-based but all citizens across our country are equally important,” Minister Croal told the Lethem residents.

Some 557 of the 70,000 backlogged land applicants are from Region Nine. The Minister said this is an issue the CH&PA will be working to address in the near future, as well as strengthening the regional offices.

Among the first to receive a title was, 25-year-old mother of two, Ms. Esther Haniff.

“Since the beginning of this year, they said it would take six months and now we’re at the 11th month,” Ms. Hanif said.

Nevertheless, she has revealed that she has big plans in the pipelines for herself and family.   “Now that I have my title, I would be able to go into the bank to get a loan to finish my house and build on it. […] Right now, I’m living in one of my mom’s house so now I would be able to get a house for my children,” she said.

Another recipient, Mr. Dion McLean, said that he has been waiting for about five years to receive his title.  “I’m very happy to receive my title today. It was a long wait, but I’m very glad […] The main thing is that the wait is over and I’m very happy with the Government for providing me with this title,” he said.

The 31-year-old taxi driver’s title is for land at New Culvert City, where he started construction after paying for the land.

Ms. Renta Paticio was ecstatic.

“When I got the call that I will be coming and receive my title, I was so excited and now that I’m here, and I’m holding my title, I’m so excited that I will start constructing my house as soon as possible,” she told DPI.

Ms. Paticio is a caregiver at the regional hospital. She is currently living in Government-provided quarters in the town. She told DPI that she has been waiting 11 months for this moment. She too will be building in Culvert City. After the title distribution, the Minister and Housing officials facilitated one-on-one sessions with the residents to address their housing concerns.

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