Gov’t addressing backlog of over 50,000 house lot applications
The Central Housing and Planning Authority (CH&PA) is currently addressing a backlog of over 50,000 house lot applications dating back as far as the 1990s.
At a press conference on Tuesday, it was also announced that over 500 house lots were recently allocated in Regions 2, 5 and 6 as the CH&PA seeks to allocate house lots in every administrative region.
Minister within the Ministry of Communities, Annette Ferguson said officials will be visiting these regions in an effort to ensure that those who applied years ago for a house lot can finally be allocated same.
Minister Ferguson said the Government is using a modified policy to ensure Guyanese acquire housing.
“We seek to do allocations in a systematic and mythological manner, this is to say allocations are done for the most part according to the date of the application. This became necessary because when I came to office I discovered that there are applications dating as far back as the early 1990s. This modified policy will help us to address a number of issues we were confronted with,” the Minister said.
She highlighted that low-income lots are being sold from as low as $92,000 and the Government is not imposing that persons pay 50% of the cost as was the case in the past. Now, persons can pay according to their budget.
“We have lands which carry a cost ranging $92,000 to $3 million. The new process encourages and allows for persons to stay within their means, we make the applicants aware of all possible options available – be it a housing unit or land – which falls within their availability,” the Minister said.
Meanwhile, Chief Executive Officer of CH&PA, Lelon Saul said the agency provides about 3000 house lots on an annual basis.
“Currently our allocation figure on an annual basis is approximately 3000, ideally we should be allocating in the excess of 5000 per year over the next seven years and I think it would put a significant dent on that huge backlog,” Saul said.
He noted that there are lands available for 5000 house lots per year over the seven-year period.
“We have lands available but we need to develop those lands, it costs approximately $3 million to develop a house lot and for the low-income lot it is being sold at $92,000 [and] it, therefore, means we are subsidizing the cost of a house lot,” Saul said.
Deputy Director for Community Development, Donell Bess-Bascom said under the Adequate Housing and Urban Accessibility Programme, 1,200 applicants from Sophia are on the selection process to benefit from subsidies for either home improvement or construction of core homes.