Govt eyes 50,000 house lots in 5 years; promises to return ‘vibrancy’ to housing drive

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Ministry of Housing photo

The PPP/C Government has said it is working to provide at least 50,000 houselots to Guyanese during this present term in office and indicated that very soon it will begin the process of clearing lands and putting in place the necessary infrastructure to make this possible.

Minister of Public Infrastructure Juan Edghill made this disclosure on Tuesday during the 2020 Budget presentation in the National Assembly where he boasted about the Government’s “progressive and expansive agenda” for the housing sector.

The Minister disclosed that over $3 billion was allocated to begin implementation of its vision for housing development.

This allocation, according to Edghill, will be utilised for various activities including infrastructural development in existing housing schemes, land preparation for new housing schemes and land acquisition.

“To this end, the capacity for delivery of the aforementioned will be enhanced as well as the CHPA’s enforcement arm, in order to address the issue of squatting, while providing a more robust and fair system of land acquisition,” he said.

Edghill noted that the Central Housing and Planning Authority (CHPA), rather than being a catalyst of development, was made to be almost paralysed due to poor policy directions by the previous Government.

“The vibrancy and vitality of the housing sector will be restored. The comatose state of the housing sector during the last five years has served as a disincentive to young professionals, Guyanese families and all seeking home ownership,” he declared.

Edghill promised that those who are already beneficiaries of the pre-2015 housing initiatives will see improved services in the various communities.

He added that young professionals, individuals with an immediate need and persons with adequate disposable income will be facilitated to commence construction.

According to Edghill, private developers are also included as part of the comprehensive housing strategy.

In terms is Water and Sanitation, Edghill said that Budget 2020 provides for sustaining and improving access to potable water across coastal, urban, and hinterland communities, continuing the reduction of the non-revenue water programme and increasing the access to treated water in more areas.

To this end, he said that Government has budgeted $2.8 billion to support the operations of Guyana Water Incorporated (GWI).

Edghill noted that Government is undertaking a number of water supply improvement projects in coastland and hinterland regions. These will be done in areas including Mabaruma, Barbina, Wainina, Shulinab, Shea, Cheong Mouth and Bartica.

He added that the GWI is also in the process of enhancing its capacity to drill new wells as well as maintain existing wells by acquiring 2 new rigs.

He detailed that Government will commence a study for the provision of potable water from the Hope Canal, and design of water treatment systems for the hinterland towns of Mabaruma and Mahdia, the islands of Leguan and Wakenaam and coastal areas of Walton Hall to Charity – Region 2, Bush lot – Region 5 and Tain to No. 50 Village – Region 6.

This study will be paramount in helping to shape the water sector programme, going forward, Edghill explained.

Additionally, Edghill posited that Government will also work with all stakeholders to ensure proper wastewater management as well as to ensure water rates remain affordable.