Duplexes built by Coalition cannot be insured or used as collateral – Croal

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Lambasting what he said was the APNU+AFC Coalition’s “big idea” for the housing sector during its one term in government, Minister of Housing and Water, Collin Croal on Friday told the National Assembly that the dozens of duplexes built by the Coalition lack the legislative support it needs.

Croal, who was at the time making his contribution to the ongoing budget debate, said the APNU+AFC botched its own great idea when it failed to amend the Condominium Act.

“They had one big idea for the housing sector and they still could not get it right. Their big idea was to introduce duplexes and they proceeded to have them constructed but guess what, they didn’t amend the Act,” the Housing Minister said.

Failure to amend the Condominium Act, Croal explained, has resulted in the homeowners, who invested in the duplexes, failing to secure insurance and titles for the property. He said the commercial banks in Guyana have also refused to hold the duplexes as collateral for loans and other transactions.

“How can any Minister of Housing with sense allow this to happen?” Croal questioned. The Ministers of Housing under the former government included Keith Scott, Valerie Patterson-Yearwood and Annette Ferguson.

A file photo of one of the Duplexes at Perseverance, East Bank Demerara

Croal announced that within the coming months, the Attorney-General will bring before the National Assembly legislation that will correct the situation. Croal said once the legislation is amended, it will also allow the homeowners to proceed with the lawful expansion of their properties.

Croal boasted that the People’s Progressive Party Civic (PPP/C) always made housing a priority.

“The last government decentralised [the] housing [sector] and put it as a subset under a ministry… they derailed our housing drive and replaced it with their ideas for housing which were weak and inadequate,” he added.

Minister Croal said the PP/C government is now focused on returning Guyana to glory by rebuilding the housing sector.

A total of $8.9 billion has been set aside in the 2021 budget for the housing sector of which $6 billion will go towards infrastructure and utility works. Croal said this will occur in all regions as the government looks to open up new housing schemes in several areas already earmarked.

Minister Croal also announced the construction of core homes in Parfait Harmonie, West Bank Demerara and Sophia, Greater Georgetown.

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