US$30M IDB loan to address housing for low-income families

DPI, Guyana, Tuesday, November 28, 2017

In order to address the issue of housing needs for low-income families, Government has secured US$30M from the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB).

The loan will be divided into two components; to improve occupancy of existing housing schemes through the provision of quality infrastructure, and subsidies for home improvements and core homes.

Lelon Saul, Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Central Housing and Planning Authority (CHPA).

This was announced by Minister of Finance, Winston Jordan, during the 2018 National Budget presentation on Monday.

Today, while outlining how the monies will be spent, the Central Housing and Planning Authority (CH&PA) Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Lelon Saul, said that majority of the fund (US$20M) will be spent on public infrastructure development.

Among the areas that will benefit from major infrastructure improvement is the Sophia/Cummings Lodge area, where some 17 kilometres of roads will be upgraded to asphalt concrete, Saul explained.

Additionally, 100 of the 250 core homes will be constructed in Sophia/Cummings Lodge to cater for those persons in dire need of housing. Saul explained that each of the units will cost approximately $4M. Core homes will also be built in other areas located between Ogle on the East Coast; along the East Bank to up to Golden Grove and Parfait Harmonie to Bell West.

“Those houses will be given free to deserving residents who fit the criteria…let me make this clear, those who are squatting will not benefit from core houses because that will entail relocation. We are speaking about regularise lots and those people who have legitimate house lots, but are basically living in a shack,” Saul emphasised.

With regard to the home improvement subsidy, Saul said some 2,000 persons will benefit in the medium-term. “Within the project area, citizens can apply for home improvement. The criteria will be published and guidelines for application will be published,” Saul disclosed.

The provision of housing is essential for the achievement of economic development, social equality, and social cohesion. It is against this backdrop that the government has placed affordable housing at the forefront of its social policy and is aware of the value of home ownership, and its link with reducing poverty and improving living standards.

 

By: Synieka Thorne

 

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