Visually impaired women among 600 Berbicians to receive house lots

Some 600 residents of Region Six (East Berbice-Corentyne) will be allocated house lots in Number 75 and Number 76 Villages, Corriverton during the Housing and Water Ministry ‘dream realised’ exercise on Friday and Saturday.

A total of 400 persons received house lots at the exercise held at the University of Guyana Tain Campus today, while another 200 will receive theirs at the Berbice Expo slated for tomorrow at the Albion Sports Complex.

An allottee selecting his lot number from Minister of Housing and Water, Collin Croal

Visually imparted Streema Jagmohan and Schemona Sugrim were also beneficiaries of house lots.

Both young women, who are part of the Guyana Council of Organisations for Persons with Disabilities (GCOPD), thanked the government for allowing them to achieve homeownership so early in their lives.

“I feel excited, it’s a great accomplishment and a great opportunity for me and my kids,” Surgim said while acknowledging the PPP/C Government’s efforts to ensure persons living with disabilities are included in the country’s developmental agenda.

Jagmohan also noted the importance of homeownership before thanking the government for its inclusive housing policy.

Minister within the Ministry of Housing and Water, Susan Rodrigues addressing the gathering

“I’m a bit emotional because this is a great accomplishment,” she said.

Also, Lakram Latchman, a teacher at Messiah Primary School, was overjoyed when he was allocated his house lot.

“I am a teacher, my wife is a teacher and my son is a teacher. I think the government is doing a great job and I am thankful to finally own a house lot,” Latchman told the Department of Public Information (DPI).

Housing and Water Minister, Collin Croal said this allocation and the 339 house lots distributed within the past year, will significantly reduce the backlog of applications within the ministry’s database.

The minister said the new housing areas for which allocations are being done include industrial and commercial areas, as well as spaces for recreational, religious, educational and health facilities, including a new hospital.

An allottee selecting her lot number from Minister within the Ministry of Housing and Water, Susan Rodrigues

The exercise, he noted, is happening even as Berbice is embarking on a transformational journey with the development of a new economic hub at Palmyra, where the government plans to construct a stadium, hotels and shopping malls.

A new synthetic track is also underway in New Amsterdam, a municipal airport will be constructed in the region and a national training facility will be established to train persons in the oil and gas and hospitality sectors.

“These activities will no doubt bring their demand for accommodation, entertainment and food services. These are opportunities for employment and investments which I hope that you will take advantage of,” he told the hundreds of persons gathered to uplift their house lots.

Just a few months ago, the ministry launched the Home Construction Assistance Facility in Region Six to aid those persons who qualify to access finance to build their homes.

Minister Croal reported that the response has been tremendous and so far,  46 persons have applied of which 21 have received assistance to build houses valued at $7 million, 13 for $9 million and 10 for $12 million.

Like the Home Construction Assistance Facility, the government has introduced other programmes to make homeownership a reality for thousands of Guyanese.

A section of the gathering on Friday

The administration has partnered with all the commercial banks to ensure persons can easily access finance through a loan or mortgage while paying concessionary interest rates.

To further meet the housing demands in the region, Minister Croal said a total of 100 flat two-bedroom houses are underway in Ordnance Fortlands, Canje and has completed building 100 similar houses in Hampshire/Williamsburg.

One hundred and thirty-five street lights were also installed in Ordnance Fortlands, Ankerville Block 5, Port Mourant, Area ‘R’ Port Mourant, Kilcoy/Chesney and Hampshire/ Williamsburg, as well as completed electrical works at the existing housing developments.

Minister within the Ministry, Susan Rodrigues said that the government has invested $3 billion in infrastructure development in the region including, the construction of new roads and bridges and upgrades to existing roads, and the installation of utilities in housing schemes.

“This is just through the Ministry of Housing. We are not talking about investments in all sectors…all of our actions since taking office have been focused on ensuring we deliver quality health care, education, housing, clean water help for vulnerable communities, help for vulnerable people with disabilities, women, children, and we have been ensuring that we deliver employment,” she said.

Minister Rodrigues reiterated the PPP/C Government’s commitment to delivering 50,000 house lots by 2025. To date, more than 16,000 house lots have been delivered to Guyanese.

Some 200 land titles and transports will also be handed over to landowners during the two days. The activity will continue on Saturday at the Albion Sports Complex.

Regional Chairman, David Armogan, Chief Executive Officer of the Central Housing and Planning Authority,  Sherwyn Greaves and Permanent Secretary Andre Ally were also in attendance.

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