Youths being consulted on eligibility age for house lots
The Ministry of Communities, Department of Housing will be engaging youths on a possible policy change for the age at which a person can apply for a house lot or benefit from any of government’s housing initiatives. The current eligibility age is 21 years old.
The Ministry’s first consultation was hosted in Rose Hall Town, Berbice while the second is scheduled for this afternoon at Diamond Secondary school, Second Avenue Diamond, East Bank Demerara.
Minister with responsibility for the sector, Valerie Patterson promised to pursue policy change as it relates to the current policy of the agency, which will seek to make it possible for persons who have attained the age of eighteen, to be able to process an application with the CH&PA in her 2016 National Budget speech presented to parliament earlier this year.
During her interaction at Rose Hall, Minister Patterson pointed out that in Guyana a person is legally an adult at the age of eighteen, which means that person can get married without having to obtain parental consent, acquire a driver’s license, and exercise their constitutional right by voting.
She also reminded the audience that a person becomes eligible for enlistment in the Disciplined Forces at the age of eighteen, giving them authority to protect and serve their country.
Having outlined this, the Minister said she strongly believes that if so much responsibility is entrusted to an eighteen year-old then that person should be eligible to access one of Government’s housing solution initiatives.
More importantly, the Minister said, the Administration has shown the importance of investing in youths and youth empowerment.
Meanwhile, one of the persons in attendance, Rookmin Ramcharran, in her contribution to the discourse, welcomed the initiative. “I like the gesture by the Government, I think it will teach the young people how to become more independent while it will encourage them to study harder and work harder to get their own home.”
The idea was also supported by young Zaheer Ali who argued that if persons at eighteen can vote to elect the office bearers for a country, then they should be given the option to become owners of property.
Similar sentiments were expressed by other youths while some were of the opinion that an eighteen year-old should be eligible to apply for a house lot, but that certain requirements must be met before that person is allocated a lot.
Having listened to the suggestions, the Minister assured that consideration will be given to these ideas before a final decision is made.