Cop who lost house in fire among 1,000 to receive house lots

- as gov’t kicks off 6th Dream Realised Housing Drive

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By Shikema Dey

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Owning a house is a milestone everyone strives to accomplish and for Assistant Superintendent of Police Myrna Richards, it is no different.

The house of the senior cop was destroyed by a fire in September at the Vigilance Police Station on the East Coast of Demerara but now, she can start anew after receiving her house lot allocation at Grove, East Bank Demerara during the sixth exercise of the government’s Dream Realised Housing Initiative held at the Providence Stadium on Friday.

Myrna, who now serves as the Secretary for the Commissioner of Police (ag) Nigel Hoppie had applied for her house lot in May and was surprised at the alacrity with which her application was handled.

“For that, I am grateful and I will start building my home immediately,” the senior cop told the News Room.

4. Natasha Azeez is excited to build her new home (News Room/ October 15, 2021)

Another recipient of a house lot was Natasha Azeez, who applied in 2010.

“Is years now I’ve been waiting and I kinda gave up on it and then I got the call so I am excited and as soon as I get my title, I am gonna start building,” she told the News Room.

Like Azeez, 55-year-old Francine Major has been waiting for more than 10 years for a house lot. The woman explained that as a little girl, she dreamed of owning a house and today that dream has become a reality.

“I am feeling so overwhelmed to get this house lot and now I just wanna say thanks and start building my house,” Major said with a smile.

1. Francine Major dreamed of owning her own home as a little girl (News Room/ October 15, 2021)

A young Christopher Sawh was beaming when his name was called for his allocation. The 23-year-old Operations Coordinator applied for his house lot when he was 18 years old but had no idea that he would have gotten a call just six years later.

“This a great opportunity that has been given to me and I am astounded because I had given up but I will put it to use.”

By mid-next year, Sawh said he would start the construction of his new home.

Another young Guyanese, 27-year-old Kimberly Gomes described the feeling as “ecstatic” having finally been allocated her own house lot. She too waited some five years before getting that call from the Ministry of Housing and Water informing of her allocation.

“As a young individual and a young woman, not only do I feel independent but I feel very blessed and overjoyed and I would like to start building as soon as possible,” she told the News Room.

3. A young Christopher Sawh (News Room/ October 15, 2021)

The aforementioned names are only a small fraction of moderate and middle-income individuals who received their house lot allocation at the Housing Drive on Friday.

In total, 1,000 people can soon build their house at Grove, Little Diamond and Great Diamond area on the East Bank corridor that is set for massive development in the coming months.

Minister of Housing and Water Collin Croal was keen to note that the demand for housing is only “the tip of the iceberg” as there is also a great need for infrastructural development. This, he said, is something that the ministry is working towards.

2. Kimberly Gomes (News Room/ October 15, 2021)

Already, he said some $7 billion is being spent on first phase infrastructure for the upgrading of existing access roads, access bridges, unsurfaced roads, pipe networks, drains, and culverts.

Considering the continuous development of the area, Minister Croal encouraged the new allottees to commence construction immediately.

On the other hand, the minister also urged the allottees to protect themselves against “fraudsters” who have popped up claiming to be attached to the Central Housing and Planning Authority (CH&PA).

“Payments for house lots are only done at the CHPA either at the office or at events like these where official receipts are given.

“Payments are not done through third parties at street corners or at anyone’s home [and] we are aware that unscrupulous persons may want to trick you out of your hard-earned money, so be warned.”

6. Minister of Housing and Water Collin Croal helps a recipient pick his house lot (News Room/ October 15, 2021)
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