Linden landowners get cement, steel subsidies

The first batch of 55 residents of Linden, Region Ten, will now be able to fast-track their journey to construct their new homes after receiving cement and steel subsidies from the government.

The beneficiaries were handed their vouchers, each valued at $225,000 during a simple ceremony held at the Watooka Guest House on Wednesday.  

The initiative was welcomed by the recipients, including Kenisha Dey-Venture, who received a voucher for two slings of cement.

She expressed her appreciation for the support, as it will now enable her to access the necessary materials to begin building her home.

“It is a great push for us because we know the cost for building materials have gone up and so this is a real help,” she told the Department of Public Information (DPI).

Esther Roberts also expressed her gratitude for the initiative and mentioned that she had been waiting for a long time to start building her home.

Esther Roberts

“I want to say thanks be unto God and thanks to President Irfaan Ali for this support. I am grateful,” she said.   

During brief remarks, Minister of Housing and Water, Collin Croal, explained that 50 persons received vouchers for two slings of cement, while five received vouchers for cement and steel for their foundation.

Minister Croal handing over the subsidy to a beneficiary

He noted that the initiative alone will see over $8 million going back into Linden’s economy.

“We expect that immediately upon receiving your vouchers, that you reach out to one of the suppliers to get your materials to commence the process of constructing your homes,” Minister Croal told the beneficiaries.

A total of 93 individuals in Region Ten applied for the programme. However, only 55 qualified after the application process was completed.

The minister explained that the remaining applicants did not meet the criteria due to issues related to their house plans.

CHPA CEO, Sherwyn Greaves handing over the subsidy to a beneficiary

The vouchers, which are redeemable at three suppliers in the mining town, are valid for six months.

Minister Croal also took the opportunity to address the issue of supplier selection for the programme, explaining that a tendering process was conducted, and three suppliers were selected within the region.

The suppliers signed an agreement stating that they would supply the materials at the same price.

That is not the close-off. If there is anyone else, once you go through the necessary process because we will have to send it to the board [CHPA], we can add suppliers as times go by,” he said.

The minister urged more persons to take advantage of the programme, noting that applications are extended to persons residing in other parts of the region, including Kwakwani and Ituni.

A Section of the gathering at Watooka House, Linden

Chief Executive Officer of the Central Housing and Planning Authority (CHPA), Sherwyn Greaves provided an overview of the programme, stating that it aims to expedite the home construction process for the recipients, making it easier and more affordable for them to build their dream homes.

Greaves reported that to date, just over 500 persons have been issued vouchers across Regions, Two, Three, Four and Nine.

A Section of the gathering at Watooka House, Linden

The initiative was announced by President Dr Mohamed Irfaan Ali in July last year.

This year, the government allocated some $800 million to implement the programme which targets close to 3,000 prospective homeowners in the initial phase.