Govt targets robust housing plan: 15,000 house lots to be distributed in 2022

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Persons being assisted at Saturday's outreach

– construction of 150 core homes part of Budget 2022

With the delivery of Budget 2022 just days away, the Government of Guyana is aiming to accelerate an already robust housing plan that will include the distribution of 15,000 house lots for the year.

During an interview with this publication, Housing and Water Minister Collin Croal touched on Budget 2022. According to him, 2022 plans include the distribution of 15,000 house lots as well as the continuation of the home improvement and subsidy programme.

“I’m pleased about what we’re doing so far. We’ve done a lot and if you think we’ve done a lot, wait till you see what we have planned for 2022. So last year when we started, we had to take stock of what was happening in the housing sector. And our examination showed nothing much was happening. We also had to re-examine our commitment and that is 50,000 allocations. And in addition to allocation, to construct houses.”

“Our initial budget focused on access roads and bridges to commence, even allocation exercises are done before, for which no infrastructure work was done. Then, in 2021, we had a number of allocations. In 16 months in office, we’ve allocated 10,000 house lots. This year, you will find we will allocate at least 15,000,” Croal said.

Minister of Housing and Water Collin Croal

He also referred to the works that have been going on for the four-lane bypass road from Mandela to Eccles, which has seen six contractors work on completing the important road link under the auspices of the Ministry of Housing and Water.

The bypass project will see a total of 26 kilometres of road constructed, linking two of the country’s main thoroughfares. This new road link will also be connected to key communities in Georgetown and along the East Bank of Demerara corridor. These include Diamond, Mocha and Eccles – all on the East Bank – and Aubrey Barker Road in Georgetown. These connections will prove crucial in diverting traffic.

“You saw the commencement of the four lanes from Mandela to Eccles, which is nearing completion by the way. So we’re pleased with what we’ve achieved last year, in terms of our target,” the Minister explained.

The Housing Minister further stated that this budget will cater for persons who have been calling to enquire when they can access their land since millions of dollars in infrastructure work will be rolled out.

When it comes to core homes, Minister Croal explained that there are 50 core homes currently being constructed, with a few of those expected to be handed over in La Parfaite Harmonie, West Bank Demerara (WBD), next week. Additionally, core homes are being constructed in Sophia, ECD, as well as on the WBD.

“There are 150 available for construction this year, that will see 25 more going in Sophia, 25 more going on the West Bank and the others available within the parameters of the boundary. Here on the East Coast, as well as on the East Bank. So those are our programmes this year. Of course, it will form part of our budget coming up too,” Minister Croal added.

Citizens at Saturday’s outreach

Budget 2022, which will be the third budget under the PPP Government, is due to be read on January 26. It is expected that this budget will be the largest budget of all and will outline development programmes and projects, both continuing and new.

It was revealed by Vice President Bharrat Jagdeo that with Government now preparing to present its fiscal plan for 2022, the budget will be partly financed by Guyana’s earnings from the oil and gas sector. He had explained that by tapping into the oil monies, it will reduce the country’s reliance on external borrowing.

This will be Guyana’s first withdrawal from the Natural Resource Fund (NRF) since the country started collecting revenues from oil production in early 2020 and since oil production in the Stabroek Block offshore Guyana started in December 2019.

The Government of Guyana in 2021 has processed close to 2000 titles and transports in its first year in office, while starting construction on 1000 houses and conducting massive infrastructural work… all part of an over $14 billion investment in the housing sector.