Housing Department moves ahead with plans to transform 250 shacks to core homes 

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The Central Housing and Planning Authority (CH&PA) Tuesday announced that the application process for families desirous of obtaining funds to transform their dilapidated houses will open on Thursday, November 1st, 2018 and will run until February 1st 2019.

Low-income families who currently live in shacks in key areas identified in Region #4 and Region #3 can apply to benefit from a total of 250 core homes the CH&PA intends to construct.

Low-income families can also apply for subsidies up to $500,000 to effect repairs and extensions to their dilapidated and overcrowded properties while monies have also been set aside for infrastructural upgrade in selected areas.

According to Housing Minister, Valerie Patterson-Yearwood, US$27 million was given to the CH&PA by the Inter – American Development Bank (IDB) from the reformed Sherriff Mandela Road Upgrade Project.

The monies are now financing a project dubbed the Adequate Housing and Urban Accessibility Programme, which has several components geared towards ensuring affordable and sustainable housing, consolidation of existing housing schemes and implementing support and institutional strengthening.

The Minister said under the programme, Guyanese along the East Bank of Demerara up to Great Diamond, in Georgetown, along the East Coast up to La Bonne Intention and Parfaite Harmonie on the West Coast of Demerara will benefit from all components of the projects.

“We want to ensure that what happened with the former core homes project don’t happen again where people met the criteria, they were given the core home and shortly after they rented it… so it will take detailed scrutiny,” she added.

The Minister said after the application process closes in February next year, within eight months, construction on the core homes is expected to commence.

But even before that, construction on the road network in the selected communities are expected to begin.

According to Omar Narine, Projects Director at the CH&PA, the US$16 million allocated for infrastructural upgrades will also seek to construct sidewalks, drains and install street lights.

The Department of Housing seems much more excited about how the funds will benefit families with Donnel Bascom – Deputy Community Development Director stressing the need for only families who meet the eligibility criteria to apply.

“The Core Home support programme targets low-income households including single parents who have been allocated low-income lots in housing areas… in order to qualify the person must be occupying their lots, they must be the legitimate owner, the household must complete payment for the lot and the applicant must be at least 18 years of age,” she added.

She assured that the CH&PA will give preference to the most vulnerable families – those applying for core homes and those applying for subsidies to conduct repairs on existing houses.

Application forms can be uplifted at regional offices in the areas listed and also at the Georgetown Mayor and City Council and the CH&PA Brickdam office.

Once completed, all forms must be dropped off at CH&PA Brickdam office on Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday.

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