The Government has announced that as part of expanding Guyana’s housing drive, which actually started under the previous PPP/C Administration, more focus will be placed on ensuring that young people acquire their own home.
In detailing the criteria for homeownership, new Minister with responsibility for housing, Valerie Sharpe-Patterson said that young people will be better positioned to plan their lives as the new measures will ensure young people have a better opportunity to own a home.
“I would like to see some of our young people owning their own home. We have a lot of young working people, who can afford to own their own homes, and they are told all kinds of things: you have to be married, you have to have children. Why would I say to a young woman ‘before you own a home, you must have two children’, what am I encouraging? That is nonsense and I would like to see that removed,” Minister Sharpe-Patterson said in a recent interview with the Government Information Agency (GINA.)
The new Minister is also keen on having the input of housing developers and banks, as part of the focus of providing affordable housing to young people.
“We have a lot of home developers across the country, and I would like to see in every region (where it is possible) for us to have that kind of facilities, where these developers can make the homes available to young people at an affordable price. We have the banks and building societies coming on board and offering [mortgages]. These banks are very liquid; they have monies available and (are) offering to our young people affordable mortgages, within their reach, so that they can own their own home,” she explained.
The Minister added that it would be a big plus for youths if at the end of this year, in every region, there were a number young people who could turn their keys in their own doors.
It should be noted that under the previous PPP/C Administration, many Guyanese were able to acquire their own homes due to several partnerships created between the then government and private sector groups. Young people in particular were key beneficiaries as the then Minister of Housing, Irfaan Ali, had commenced the process of having the criteria for land ownership relaxed; for example, there was no need for one to be married and have kids before they could have acquired a houselot.