$200M to construct 50 core homes for Sophia residents – Housing Minister

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Sophia is set for major development with the Central Housing and Planning Authority (CH&PA) setting aside $200 million for the construction of 50 core homes under the ministry’s Adequate Housing and Urban Accessibility Programme, according to the Minister of Housing and Water, Collin Croal.

And with US$10 million allocated under the programme, the minister announced too that more than 100 persons will receive a total of $59.5 million in home improvement subsidies.

During the sod-turning ceremony for the construction of a $51 million multipurpose facility at ‘C’ Field Sophia on Thursday, Croal explained that the ministry aims to consolidate the existing schemes and that funds have been allocated to finance the Livelihood Restoration Plan.

As a result, 20 people from the community have qualified for cash entitlements; three for cash crops and 17 for income allowances.

“This intervention will address displacement and its related impacts associated with project works in Sophia,” Minister Croal relayed.

Further, the Housing Minister also revealed that four mobile units were distributed to residents whose business operations were dismantled or relocated to facilitate infrastructural works under the various projects being implemented in the community.

Additionally, he said, 47 bridge replacements were made for persons whose bridges were similarly dismantled while three house lots were allocated to squatters who had to be relocated.

“For all of these activities, we have consulted over 900 residents from Sophia as we wanted to find alignment with the needs of the community. These consultations have led to 75 residents being employed directly with the project since it started.

“As we seek to enhance the capacity of communities, we have ensured that thirty per cent of labour required for any project comes from the community itself.”

The Adequate Housing and Urban Accessibility Programme was designed to improve housing conditions and access to critical infrastructure, enhance mobility and safety, and strengthen the capacity to operate and maintain urban services.

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