The issue of Housing in Guyana has never been one of the availability of land whether low, middle or high income since the country has enough land resources to fulfill the needs of all Guyanese.
This is according to Former Housing Minister Irfaan Ali who said the country has more than enough land to meet the housing and industrial, manufacturing, and commercial needs of its citizens.
Ali, under whose stewardship the Housing ministry made tremendous strides, explained that the difficulty in the past is the cost of infrastructure and the investment that is required to make house lots “serviceable”.
“If tomorrow someone wakes up and decides that they are going to give
unserviced lots to everybody in one night you can fulfill all the housing needs. But what sense does it make? If you don’t have the available infrastructure…that is why we had a progressive way in which we developed the housing sector,” Ali said.
He recalled that, in the past, it was not feasible to have 100 per cent of infrastructure “up front” for a number of reasons mainly because there would not be 100 per cent occupancy.
This would result in the infrastructure being wasted or “idling”.
The former Housing minister said he fully support the initiative to have the private sector and private developers involved in Housing. You cannot have a sustainable housing programme or strategy if you do not have the private
sector critically involved in the process of building,” Ali posited.
Laterally, Ali said while there is a creation of housing areas especially in the low and middle income categories, the Government needs to ensure that an “economic condition” is created that will make those communities sustainable like
the commercial zone, the industrial zone; and develop a strategy to
drive investment into those areas.
He believes that only then can the housing sector reap more success in Guyana.