Lombard & Broad St. Squatters to get homes in Barnwell

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Some 72 houses will be constructed at Barnwell on the East Bank of Essequibo (EBE) to house dozens of persons who are currently residing in squatting areas on Lombard and Broad Streets.

The project will be spearheaded by Government in partnership with Food for the Poor organisation.
Valerie Patterson Yearwood, the Minister within the Ministry of Communities with responsibility for housing, said more than $100M is estimated to be pumped into this project, with $40M from the nonprofit entity and approximately $72M from the Central Housing and Planning Authority (CH&PA).

The Minister also noted that efforts are underway to work out a payment plan for the squatters.

“We know that many of those people don’t have jobs and so on because the poverty level is really high. But we are working things out because they will have to pay for something. I know when you give people everything free, they don’t cherish it,” the Minister explained.

A statement from the Central Housing and Planning Authority had reported that some 56 families reside in that area.

The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights during a country visit in 2016 visited the area and was shocked by the extreme poverty and precarious living conditions of its inhabitants.

Meanwhile, the Minister said a white paper is being prepared to look at how government can make access to financing easier for persons desirous of being home owners.

She said one of the ideas being mulled is a mortgage finance bank.

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