New Anna Regina housing office to be fully operational from Monday – Minister Croal
Minister of Housing and Water, Collin Croal, M.P said the ministry’s Central Housing and Planning Authority’s (CHPA) new office in Anna Regina, Region Two, will be operational from Monday, April 11.
The minister made this announcement on Friday, during an interview with DPI. He said the building was rehabilitated and furnished and will be outfitted with a full complement of staff to address longstanding housing matters on the Essequibo Coast.
A new regional housing officer was appointed and the ministry is in the process of recruiting an assistant housing officer, Minister Croal noted.
“We are also increasing the staff complement because we have a number of matters to address …we have had history in terms of poor performance from previous hosing officers, and so we expect to deliver a better level of service to residents of Region Two,” he explained.
Among the main issues are enforcement and verification of a number of matters. There are a number of cases of bogus receipts and therefore, the housing officers will have to verify those receipts in order to process the ownership document for allottees.
This comes as the government is expanding its housing programme on the Essequibo Coast. CH&PA has developed two new housing areas at Charity-St Joseph and Buxton, as well as Onderneeming Phase Four.
Minister Croal said money has been allocated to advance infrastructure works in those areas which will allow allotees to commence the construction of their homes by the end of the year.
Since coming into office in August 2020, government has been working to decentralise critical services across the country. As such, three housing officers were appointed in Essequibo, Berbice and Lethem.
The housing ministry continues to establish regional housing offices in areas where none existed, with the most recent being the Lethem office which was constructed at a cost of $23 million. The office houses the CH&PA and Guyana Water Incorporated.
Minister Croal noted that the overall aim is to strengthen the ministry’s regional capacity so as to reduce the number of persons visiting its central office in Georgetown. Simultaneously, the ministry will be phasing out a number offices being rented by GWI across the regions, since both agencies will utilise one building.