Minister of Communities, Ronald Bulkan, is set to table in the National Assembly, a white paper ( a government or other authoritative report providing information or proposals on an outlined subject matter ) on the government’s new housing programme. This was announced today, by Minister of State, Joseph Harmon at a post-Cabinet media briefing held at the Ministry of the Presidency.
Harmon said that the white paper will provide the National Assembly with a clear understanding of what the government is seeking to achieve with its new programme.
The white paper will also provide information pertaining to the construction techniques, the method of payment for units, mortgage arrangement for recipients and the criteria for allocation.
In the construction of the houses, the government would seek to focus mainly using local contractors and indigenous materials including local wood species.
Harmon explained that guidelines would be issued to the contractors stating the government’s preference for the use of local building materials, taking cognisance of where the houses will be built.
The government’s new programme, which has private sector involvement, has moved away from the allocation of house lots to providing actual houses in the form of apartments and duplexes.
Harmon explained that the housing programme inherited from the previous administration was “ineffective” since it largely focused on the distribution of house lots to citizens. “The thrust by our government is to build communities, and this will be the focus of the housing sector development,” he said.
Cabinet recently approved the roll-out of the first phase of the new housing programme. Approval was given for $5 Billion to be spent on the delivery and construction of 758 housing units in Regions 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 and 10.
Minister Harmon said today, that the construction of the houses and several other components of the housing programme are expected to commence in the second quarter of 2017.
The government’s new housing programme targets particularly, public sector employees, youths and low income earners.