Displaced Cummings Lodge farmers get $25M in recovery grant


The Ministry of Housing and Water on Monday doled out $25 million in grants to several displaced farmers, whose farms were destroyed when the Central Housing and Planning Authority (CHPA) began land clearing for the new Cummings Lodge Housing Development.

The grant is part of the Housing Ministry’s ‘Economic Recovery Programme’ for Cummings Lodge farmers.

Minister within the Housing and Water Ministry Susan Rodrigues, speaking at the simple handing over ceremony, said that though the Ministry is focused on the developmental plans for the area, it has no intention of having conflicts with those “who have been living off of the land.”

“We do not want to come in the way of that,” the Minister said, adding, “I just want to make that absolutely clear that we are here because we stand with you, we want to help you and we will come to a peaceful solution, a resolution that will be of benefit to you and to your satisfaction, as we proceed.”

It was explained that after consulting with the farmers, an evaluation was made by the National Agricultural Research and Extension Institute (NAREI), which assessed the needs of each of the recipients, leading to the distribution of the grants.

Minister Rodrigues added that as the development in the Cummings Lodge area progresses, thousands of jobs will be created and there will be the provision of homes for low-income families.

Housing Minister Collin Croal (left) presents the grant to a farmer

Continuing on this point was Housing Minister Collin Croal, who, in his remarks, explained that at least 14 persons will be employed to work on one of the homes being constructed.

“Multiply that by 200 and you will understand the level of employment,” Minister Croal highlighted.

He gave assurances that the Ministry, along with the CHPA, will continue to collaborate with those in the community to ensure the smooth and continued development of the Cummings Lodge area.

Already, some 139 out of the 190 low-income houses that will be constructed at plots 1767 and 1768 in Cummings Lodge are nearly complete and homeowners, who have prequalified, are expected to move in about two months’ time.

These 139 houses are part of the first batch of houses that will be constructed in the community.

These houses are all two-bedroom, single-elevated houses and are part of the young professional and low-income housing units the ministry plans to construct.

Earlier this year, 51 contracts were signed to start the construction of 290 houses. Of that lot, 190 elevated, two-bedroom homes will be built in Cummings Lodge, while another 100 flat houses would be constructed at Prospect, East Bank Demerara.

Other units similar to those at Cummings Lodge are being constructed at Prospect, Providence, Little Diamond and Great Diamond in Region Four; Onderneeming and Wales in Region Three; Ordinance/Fortlands, Hampshire and Williamsburg in Region Six; and Amelia’s Ward in Region 10.

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