Govt clears backlog of housing applications

A woman pulling a lot number at the “Dream Realised” housing initiative at the Guyana National Stadium at Providence on Saturday
A woman pulling a lot number at the “Dream Realised” housing initiative at the Guyana National Stadium at Providence on Saturday

The Housing and Water Ministry on Saturday completed yet another successful housing drive, by reaching their target of some 2000 house lot allocations and most importantly, clearing the applications from the 1990s.

Minister within the Ministry of Housing, Susan Rodrigues was present during the final day of the “Dream Realised” housing initiative at the Guyana National Stadium at Providence on Saturday. She told Guyana Times that the Ministry was able to assist those applicants who “fell through the cracks” and were waiting for years. Some would have been successful but could not have paid the required sum of money to officially own a lot in the past, but now these issues have been resolved.

“Included in this distribution activity [was] the mopping up of all the applicants who have been in the system from the 90s, who have fell through the cracks for whatever reason. Most of them were allocated but either couldn’t afford to pay or didn’t accept the area they were given and we were able to clear up that 1990s period. So, we can successfully say that we’re moving on,” the Minister told this publication. Rodrigues added that persons were very responsive after being contacted. The next initiative will be rolled out in Region Three (Essequibo Islands-West Demerara) in the new week, followed by Region Six (East Berbice-Corentyne) before Christmas.

“We had another successful day and we have everybody here. People were very responsive and it was very encouraging to know that even those that have been in the system for a very long time, we could’ve made contact with them and they responded. They came out and we’re close to our 2000 target over the two days,” she said.

Housing and Water Ministers Collin Croal and Susan Rodrigues addressing housing queries from members of the public on Saturday at the Guyana National Stadium

On Friday, Rodrigues shared that apart from this recent housing drive, the Ministry managed to allocate 3500 house lots since the People’s Progressive Party/Civic took office four months ago. This achievement, she highlighted, is half of the amount that was issued during the last Administration’s one term in office.

Over $1 billion will be injected into the Region Three housing sector in 2021 through an Inter-American Development Bank (IDB)-funded project. Funds were committed for La Parfaite Harmonie, Onderneeming, West Minister, Recht-Door-Zee, Lust-en-Rust and Schoonord.

The IDB project, which is slated to commence in January 2021, will target infrastructural elevation in existing housing areas to make them more appealing to prospective homeowners and create more sustainable communities.

Minister Rodrigues had disclosed earlier this month that the works would cover the construction of three playgrounds and 50 core houses and at least 500 subsidies would be granted to qualifying prospective homeowners. Additionally, she noted the inclusion of light-emitting diode (LED) lights aimed at enhancing safety features in the communities, road construction, and upgrades, as well as water distribution networks.

Housing Minister, Collin Croal had assured after taking office in August that they would pursue an aggressive housing drive as outlined in the manifesto.