$36M spent to build homes for Broad and Lombard St. families

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The Central Housing and Planning Authority (CH&PA) in collaboration with Food for the Poor Guyana on Tuesday morning commissioned Phase One of their relocation and resettlement programme through which 20 families from Broad and Lombard Streets, Georgetown. The families received new homes at the back of Prospect Housing Scheme, East Bank Demerara which cost $36M.

The process to relocate the residents commenced in July 2017 following a successful court action filed by De Freitas and Gonsalves Limited to have them removed from land owned by the company.

“This is really good.

“The environment is very chokey and congested at Broad Street but now they [my four children] have a free and clean atmosphere,” new homeowner Onessa Thorne told the News Room.

New homeowner Onessa Thorne

The 20 families are the first of 51 families to receive a chance at a new life as a result of an intervention by Government.

“It’s very relaxing, a place that we can call our home because where we lived can’t be called our home. That’s no home for nobody so I appreciate this; we really thankful,” said Ashana Nestor, one of the beneficiaries.

Speaking at the handing over ceremony held in the new community at Prospect EBD was Lelon Saul, Chief Executive Officer of the CH&PA.

Some of the houses

Saul told the new residents that it is not an objective of CH&PA to see Guyanese living in squalor but for every Guyanese to have a roof over their head.

“We will address the housing needs of every Guyanese. Today’s project is a testament to what we can do. We are transforming lives and when we give our word, we live up to it,” Saul told the families.

Also present to motivate the new homes-owners was Minister within the Ministry of Agriculture with the responsibility for rural affairs Valerie Adams-Yearwood.

“What we are doing here today handing these houses over to twenty families will help to build your self-image, build your self-esteem, it gives you a new motivation to do better for yourselves and families,” Minister Yearwood said.

Ashana Nestor and Tessa Sulmon

Following the ceremony, residents left together with keys to their respective houses, eager to open their front door locks for the first time.

Homes were not the only gift to residents as a brand new playfield was also commissioned in the heart of the new community.

Collaborations between the Ministry of Education and Social Protection will see the successful transfer of school children affected by the relocation to schools closer to their new homes.

School uniforms will also be provided free of cost.

Further, the Agriculture Ministry has committed to providing resources and tools necessary for farming and growing of crops and fruit trees in the new community.

Phase 2 of the relocation project is set to take place in Cummings Lodge, Greater Georgetown following heated interactions with CH&PA, Minister within the Ministry of Communities Annette Ferguson and squatters at the same Cummings Lodge location.

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