Minister of Housing and Water Collin Croal during visits to several squatting areas on Tuesday revealed that there are currently 62,000 pending housing applications that are being processed with new applications being submitted daily.
Croal along with his junior Minister Susan Rodrigues said they were shocked to learn of this “huge backlog” during briefings earlier this week but assured that priority will be given to reducing that number significantly.
“That’s a lot and of course we will have to prioritize based on various needs,” Minister Croal told the News Room.
He said some of the applications have been processing for several years with little to no progress because of various issues.
“In some cases, you will find that the areas applied for are not available or there was a regional preference and no lot available… that is something we are looking at now and in the not so distant future you will hear from us on how we will aggressively pursue this matter,” he added.
Croal was supported by Minister within the Ministry of Housing, Susan Rodrigues who didn’t stop short of criticizing the housing policy of the former David Granger led Government.
“When I heard that number yesterday, Minister Croal and I were shocked that that is the amount of backlog we face…there hasn’t been any housing policy over the last five years and since 2015 there was no Government subvention to the Central Housing and Planning Authority…it shows that housing was not a priority for the previous administration,” she said.
Minister Rodrigues said under the new leadership and PPP Government, housing will be prioritized with the delivery of commitments made in the manifesto.
“We will try to reach our target and ensure that emergency situations are dealt with as expeditiously as possible,” she added.
The PPP in its manifesto had promised to deliver 10,000 house lots annually to Guyanese.