350 get house lots, 100 more get transport/titles on Essequibo Coast
Some 350 residents of the Essequibo Coast will receive house lots over the next two days and another 100 will receive transport to their lands; another 350 house lots will be handed out before the end of the year.
The house lots and transport are being distributed at an event titled “Dream Realised” in the town of Anna Regina as the Ministry of Housing looks to push ahead with the PPP government’s ambitious plan to meet the housing needs of 50,000 Guyanese over the next five years.
“The allocation of these house lots and the handing over of the titles and transports in Essequibo will go a long way towards stimulating the regional economy through jobs in the short and medium-term. It will also make the region more attractive to young professional who would like to stay and work here,” Collin Croal, Minister of Housing and Water said.
Already, since the PPP took office on August 2 last year, an estimated 3, 500 house lots have been allocated in various regions.
To fast-track the process towards the allocation of more lands for housing, the ministry this year signed $13.9 billion in contracts to carry out infrastructural works in 14 areas across Regions Three, Four, Five and Six. There has not been a similar investment in housing of this magnitude in any single year, Minister Croal noted.
He said when the ministry eight months ago kick-started what is going to be Guyana’s biggest housing drive to distribute 50,000 house lots in five years, they knew it was not going to be easy.
“We faced a daunting backlog, a tedious application process that left citizens frustrated, not enough lands to develop, expensive construction materials and an inadequate access to finance,” Croal stated.
But he said now, the backlog is reducing incrementally, the application process is easier and more efficient, housing officials are more accessible, the cost for building materials has been made more affordable and the banks have answered the call of President Irfaan Ali and made their loan packages more budget-friendly.
“The provision of the house lots and accompanying infrastructures such as water, electricity, drains, bridges, culverts and paved roads are expensive but notwithstanding that, you, my friends, are benefitting from highly subsidised costs because your government is committed to providing affordable housing solutions, improving the lives of young professionals and supporting vulnerable families, women and single-parent households,” Minister Croal stated.
For Essequibo, the housing needs are being addressed with incredible speed. The new lots will be placed at Onderneeming Phase Four.
Minister within the Ministry, Susan Rodrigues, said applications up to the year 2019 are already being considered, drawing cheers from the crowd at the Anna Regina Town Council compound.
Minister Croal stated that in the weeks ahead, his ministry will continue to allocate house lots in other areas.