Thousands of persons living in Guyana are now very frustrated and disappointed having learnt that the 50/50 Jubilee housing promotion announced by Minister within the Ministry of Communities, Valerie Sharpe- Patterson, in March month has been cancelled.
Reports are that the Board of the Central Housing and Planning Authority (CH&PA) which is currently being headed by former city Mayor Hamilton Green has cancelled this ‘special payment plan ’ this month for persons who are beneficiaries of government house lots in residential areas that are priced at $3M and lower.
Initially, the deal would have allowed persons who had completed payment of at least 50 per cent of the cost of their house lots by May 1, to receive a 50 per cent discount on the remaining balance.
Minister Sharpe-Patterson had also explained that the balance should be paid off by the end of this month.
However, Green has announced that the CH&PA Board has now cancelled the deal stating that there were some “lapses” in the arrangement inclusive of the junior Minister ‘failing to consult’ with the Board before making such an announcement.
According to Green, the CH&PA Board is presently examining this deal and giving consideration to “all possible financial implications”.
Meanwhile, former Housing Minister and PPP Member of Parliament (MP) Irfaan Ali is calling on the government to honour its commitment and allow allottees the opportunity of benefiting from the deal.
Ali said the problem with the APNU+AFC administration is that it has continuous conflicting policy direction and therefore this does not bode well for the future of the country and its citizens.
“If you have a minister appointed with responsibility with housing then that minister must have authority vested in her to work with policy that would improve the housing sector. The Ministry of Housing doesn’t have an executive chairman and he (Hamilton Green) is not supposed to be holding press conferences and making announcement on behalf of CH&PA…the government can’t appoint a rubber stamp as minister…the minister must have authority to make decisions on policy and programmes for housing policies…the minister has direct responsibility for that ministry and must be allowed to function and execute her task,” the former Housing Minister under the PPP/C contended.
Ali, under whose tenure as Housing Minister saw a massive boom in the housing sector across Guyana, argued that the government of the day should not and cannot back away from this public announcement/commitment especially since the lives of thousands of Guyanese and the future of many will be adversely affected.
“I know many persons who were saving over the last few months to cash in on this deal and the minister must have made an assessment of financial implications, management and administrative implications…you can’t make an announcement that is blank to achieve political mileage…The Chairman of the CH&PA is out of line because he is not an executive chairman…I am calling on the government to honour its commitment,” Ali added. (Kristen Macklingam)