Project for construction of houses in Berbice at finalisation stage

─over $1.2B in new and ongoing works coming
─regional housing office to be revamped

The Ministry of Housing and Water is set to hit the ground running in the new year and Berbice has not been left out.

Minister of Housing and Water, Hon. Collin Croal, addressed residents of Berbice during the Dream Realised land allocation in Region Six

Minister, Hon. Collin Croal told residents on Tuesday, that a promise made by H.E. Dr. Mohamed Irfaan Ali, for the construction of homes remains in place.

He was at the time addressing residents of Berbice during the ‘Dream Realised’ house lot allocation in Region Six at the University of Guyana – Tain Campus.

“In addition to our house lot programme, you will be seeing the construction of 200 houses here in Region Number Six in the communities of Williamsburg, as well as, Ordinance/Fortlands, in fact, a hundred each,” the Minister said.

He also told residents that the Ministry is engaging a private sector partner to execute the project, which is at the finalisation stage.

Minister Croal said the private-public partnerships is an integral part of promoting homeownership under the Dr. Irfaan Ali-led Administration for boosting economic growth and opportunities and the Ministry is keen on continuing in this direction.

Also coming to Region Six in 2021 is a series of infrastructure works to expand and enhance the housing sector.

“There is ongoing a number of advertisements for projects to be awarded in the new year in January…which will be opening on the 12th and the 13th of January,” Minister Croal highlighted.

He also encouraged contractors in Berbice to seize the opportunities for works advertised in their region. This, along with ongoing works from 2020, brings massive investment into the region.

“When you take into consideration ongoing works in Region Six and the minimal works that are required in 2021 for the allocations that are being made, we are talking about the injection of about $1.2 billion into the economy of Region Number Six on infrastructure works for roads, drainage, the water connection and lighting,” the Minister said.

This translates to hundreds of job opportunities for unskilled, semi-skilled and skilled workers across sectors.

With the recent removal of Value Added Tax (VAT) from construction materials, the mortgage interest relief ceiling raised from $15 million to $30 million and low-income threshold from $8 million to $10 million, the PPP/C government has made homeownership more affordable across the entire country.

Region Six, like other regions, will also benefit from a revamp of regional housing offices to ease the strain on the main office in Georgetown.

“Very early in 2021 among the things that we are focusing on is to ensure that our regional offices can respond to many of the issues that are confronted in a timely manner and not just have persons waiting on information or having them travel to Georgetown,” Minister Croal said.

Also, in Berbice, Region Five will be benefitting from land title and transport distributions in 2021. Minister Croal said while the Ministry had intended for the Region to benefit this year, there were many applications in the system awaiting finalisation, pushing the exercise into the new year.

Last month, 150 Region Six residents received their land titles.