Sophia single parent now proud recipient of a core home

among six families to receive keys to newly-built core homes

Six low-income families of Sophia, Georgetown, will now benefit from better living conditions after receiving the keys to their core homes on Friday Afternoon, while 22 residents received up to $500,000, as part of the home improvement subsidy initiative.

The Core Home and Improvement Subsidy project is part of the Ministry of Housing and Water – Central Housing and Planning Authority’s (CHPA) Adequate Housing and Urban Accessibility Programme (AHUAP) funded by the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB).

Himattie Kissoon along with her daughter in front of her newly constructed home

Himattie Kissoon, who has been living in Sophia for the past 23 years in unfavourable conditions, commended the government for providing the opportunity for her to enjoy a more stable and comfortable home.

Kissoon lived in an old wooden house with her young daughter who is living with a disability. The woman said she was unable to upgrade her living conditions due to financial constraints. She applied for the programme back in 2018 but only got through last year.

The single mother is now the proud recipients of a two- bedroom 20ft x 20ft wooden home equipped with all the necessary amenities. 

“It [ living conditions] was real poor and I am very happy…it will make a lot of change in my live, I am very thankful for that,” she told the Department of Public Information.

The homes were constructed to the tune of $ 4 million each. Beneficiaries are only required to contribute $100,000.

A total of 50 core homes will be constructed in Sophia, which represents 20 per cent of the overall core home project, that will see a total of 250 units being constructed.

Housing and Water Minister Collin Croal, Minister within the Housing and Water Ministry, Susan Rodrigues, Country Representative, Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), Lorena Solórzano-Salazar, CHPA’s Chief Executive Officer, Sherwyn Greaves along with some of the beneficiaries of the home improvement subsidy programme.

Speaking at the handing over ceremony, Housing and Water Minister Collin Croal said that already, $942 million has been expended for the construction of core homes, subsidies and other community infrastructure projects under AHUAP.

He announced that the government is in negotiation with the bank to increase the value of the subsidy programme in keeping with increased cost for construction materials, as well as to have some more areas included in the boundary.

“As part of our focus in 2023, more emphasis on home construction…we want in a fast track way to be able to encourage homeownership,” he said.

Minister within the Ministry, Susan Rodrigues said the intention is to ensure the residents of Sophia are provided with equal opportunities to upgrade their living standards and enjoy a better quality of life.

“Regardless of whether it is a community who is politically supportive of the government or not we are supportive of every single community,” the minister affirmed. 

She spoke of the government’s housing programme which caters for all Guyanese, particularly vulnerable groups. It is for this reason the project boundary was extended to ensure more persons are given the opportunity to benefit.

The Sophia multipurpose facility which was commissioned

Notably, Minister Rodrigues said that of the 22 persons who benefitted from home improvement subsidy, 16 are women.

Country Representative, IDB, Lorena Solórzano-Salazar praised the Guyana government  for placing emphasis on the vulnerable groups, particularly women, single parents and persons living with disabilities. 

Meanwhile, a multipurpose $51 million recreational facility was also commissioned at ‘C’ Field Sophia.

AHUAP is an IDB-funded programme aimed at improving the quality of life in urban and peri-urban Georgetown through better access to adequate housing and basic infrastructure for low-income populations and through improved accessibility and mobility services.

The programme previously encompassed communities from Georgetown to Grove on the East Bank of Demerara, up to La Bonne Intention on the East Coast of Demerara and Westminster, Onderneeming, Recht-Door-Zee, Lust en Rust, and Parfaite Harmonie Phase II on the West Bank of Demerara. The ministry has since expanded the boundary to include 19 communities on the East Coast of Demerara.

Also, in attendance were CHPA’s Chief Executive Officer,  Sherwyn Greaves and Deputy Director, Community, Development Department, Donell Bess-Bascom.

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