Minister of Communities, Ronald Bulkan recently disclosed that his government is seeking as part of medium term plans to deliver 10,000 housing units to eligible Guyanese including State employees, low income earners and youths, in addition to the construction of 5000 apartment units for the outlined categories of persons.
“The target of 10,000 units was conceptualised based on an assessment of the current needs,” the Communities Minister said.
Bulkan in a recent release said his government recognises housing as a major public policy issue and a key area of focus not only in relation to the provision of shelter but in the alleviation of poverty.
The minister pointed out that of the 63, 257 lots allocated in the past 20 years under the previous housing program, 28, 220 are still unoccupied.
This, he said, points to the low levels of disposable income, the inability to access mortgages and the inadequate provisions of basic infrastructure in many of the areas.
With 25,000 applications in the system and 17,000 households classified as low income earners, the Ministry of Communities said that it is examining innovative strategies to provide housing solutions to satisfy the great demand.
Bulkan’s remarks emanated from a meeting that took place at the Department of Housing’s Brickdam office, Georgetown between officials from the Ministry of Communities, the Central Housing and Planning Authority (CHPA) and a visiting team from the Islamic Development Bank (IsDB) where a medium-long term housing program was presented.
Various interventions relating to the overall direction of the housing sector and the proposed construction of 10,000 housing units were discussed.
During his remarks, Chairman of the CHPA Board, Hamilton Green said that housing is an absolute necessity and priority and provides a space for individuals to feel safe and satisfied.
Chairman Green noted that when citizens are properly housed, it provides for greater access to education, healthcare, social services, job opportunities and other basic provisions.
Director of Country Programs Department and Special Advisor to the Vice-President of the Islamic Development Bank (IsDB) Mohammad Alsaati, in echoing Green’s sentiments, said that persons who have access to adequate shelter can “rule the world”.
He explained that the desire of IsDB is to work with Guyana in pursuit of its medium to long-term strategy that will match available resources with the country’s work program.
The IsDB executive related that the Bank is anticipating “fruitful collaboration” and will work with the local stakeholders to develop worthwhile business opportunities.
Proposals from the various government agencies and Ministries are being coordinated by the Ministry of Finance which has responsibility for presentation of Guyana’s development priorities and projects.