The Central Housing and Planning Authority on Wednesday officially handed over 13 communities to the Haslington/Grove Neighbourhood Democratic Council (NDC).
The NDC will now be solely responsible for the management of these communities.
The Chief Executive Officer (ag) for the Housing Authority, Denise Tudor handed over the package for the communities which contained a Memorandum of Understanding signed between the Housing Authority and the NDC, comprehensive profiles of each community and official pedestrian plans for all the areas.
Residents and councillors of the NDC attended the simple handing over ceremony at the Haslington/Grove Community Centre on the Golden Grove public road on the East Coast of Demerara (ECD).
Chairman for the NDC, Maureen Philadelphia noted that since 2011 they approached the Ministry about handing over the communities.
“Today it’s no longer a plea, today it is no longer a request, today it is no longer a hope, today it is a reality and for that, I say thank you,” the Chairman said.
The NDC will be responsible for garbage collection, maintenance of infrastructure, drainage along with raising funds to execute projects in the communities.
It was also noted that residents will begin paying rates and taxes at the end of March next year.
Minister within the Ministry of Communities with responsibility for housing, Annette Ferguson urged residents to play their roles and work along with the NDC.
On the same note, Minister Ferguson also urged the NDC to be transparent in the execution of their duties in the communities.
“[It] is a major accomplishment, since it will allow for the following to be done; empower the NDC with support of many existing community group to spearhead efforts relating to successful implementation of community development initiatives for the areas,” Minister Ferguson said.
Meanwhile, a resident from Haslington, Colin Collins said he hopes there will be improvement within the community now that the NDC is in control.
“Let us see that we can work together…people pay their taxes, so we can have good roads, because the roads are really bad here. Sometimes taxi don’t want to carry you in and we need proper lights, cause the place is very dark and if we could get a concrete bridge to the new scheme it would be much better for us,” Collins told the News Room.
Another resident, Bridget Thomas reiterated Mr Collins’ plea to have better roads, however, Thomas noted that some of the councillors are not doing their duties.
“….we need to do some self-help also. Years ago I used to call people out and we used to do self-help and now I get big, the young people [are not] picking up the mantle. And some of the councillors are not functioning, had they been functioning many things would have been [done] in the communities,” Thomas told the News Room.
The communities handed over include Hope Estate Phase 2, Haslington Block, 18 20 and Area E, Belfield Block 1, Lowlands Block 45 (111) and Douchfour Block 5 (111), Nootenzuil block A and B, Hope Cum Annexis, Craig Milne Block 1, 2 and 3, Hope Block 5 and Hope Parcel 152.