[www.inewsguyana.com] – Hundreds more Guyanese will soon own their homes as they were given the opportunity to pull their houselots at the Central Housing and Planning Authority’s One Stop Shop at the Anna Regina Town Council, Region Two, recently.
Minister of Housing and Water Irfaan Ali said it was a tremendous accomplishment for the Regional Democratic Council (RDC), the Ministry of Housing, and for the allottees who number 360. This will translate to benefits for 1,394 persons.
He explained that the One Stop Shops represent open governance, public scrutiny, public dialogue, and is open to public criticism.
“If you have information on anyone you see here receiving a house lot that you know already owns a house lot, it is your public duty, it is part of your public responsibility in encouraging and supporting good governance that you report that so that we can take the corrected action immediately,” he urged residents of Region 2. He explained that they could help with public verification which would improve and further develop the system.
Minister Ali stated that an audit indicates that there are 93 vacant lots in the Charity housing scheme which will see legal action taken against persons squatting. Legal action will also be taken against persons who rent their homes.
The sum of $182M has been spent on infrastructure for this Region 2 housing scheme. This is in addition to the more than $400M spent during 2003 – 2011 in the said region, creating approximately 3, 500 house lots. An additional $60M was spent to upgrade the road in the old Onderneeming scheme.
The outstanding infrastructure would be the provision of electricity and $22B has been allocated to provide this as soon as the occupancy commences and reaches 60%.
The total expenditure of $182M which has been invested with the total revenue to be collected being $49M, means that the Government is subsidising the schemes to the value of $132.3M or 72% subsidy ratio.
This investment is additional to the more than $1.2B that the Ministry has spent in the water sector in Region Two. This includes the construction of the water treatment plant, distribution of transmission upgrade, drilling of bore holes in Somerset, Onderneeming transmission, laying of pipe lines in Cullen and drilling of bore holes in Good Hope and Onderneeming.
Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Housing and Water, Mr. Emile McGarrell highlighted that the land distribution programme is an important one that will certainly bring in great benefits to the Essequibo region, and not just for the individuals because housing in many ways will form an important generator of economic activities.
Acting CEO of the CH&PA, Denise King-Tudor highlighted that the Ministry’s vision to establish schemes throughout the country is achievable. She added that hundreds of house lots have been distributed over the last two years. King said this exercise is not only about the distribution of the houselots, but making them affordable to persons.
Region Two Chairman, Parmanand Persaud expressed satisfaction with the distribution exercise, and added that this will now allow more young families to own a home.