As the government inches closer to achieving its set target of providing 50,000 house lots at the end of its five-year term, the National Assembly on Thursday cleared the way for new housing schemes to be constructed with the approval of $2.7 billion in supplementary funds.
Minister of Housing and Water, Collin Croal on Thursday during the 33rd sitting of the National Assembly at the Arthur Chung Conference Centre (ACCC) explained that thus far, over 10,000 Guyanese have become homeowners in 2021.
And this number, he said, continues to climb, hence the need for more funding to facilitate ongoing and new infrastructural works in the sector.
Mon Repos, Annandale, Vigilance, Bladen Hall, Strathspey, La Bonne Intention and Plantation Cummings Lodge on the East Coast of Demerara; Plantation Great Diamond, Plantation Little Diamond, Plantation Prospect Phase Three and Plantation Providence on the East Bank of Demerara; Plantation Experiment, Williamsburg, Hampshire, Number 79 Village, and Number 75 Village in Region Six are among some of the areas Minister Croal pinpointed for works to continue.
Meanwhile, another $2 billion was approved to facilitate more works in existing housing schemes across Guyana. These works include the construction of roads and bridges, land preparation, and the provision of drainage and water networks across Regions Three, Four, Five and Six.
The Housing Minister faced intense questioning from his predecessor, Annette Ferguson who probed why such a large sum was requested “at the ninth hour” with little time left in the fiscal year.
But Minister Croal explained, “We have ongoing works for contracts that are existing and so, additional sums are required to ensure that we complete these works to make available accommodation for more land space so that we can have occupancy for another 10,000 lots.
“In our short period in office, we have already allocated more than 10,000 house lots. We have a competent project team that is capable of executing these projects and doing them in a timely manner and that is why we are able to do so much more in a fast-track mechanism because we have a commitment to the people of Guyana to deliver a minimum of 50,000 house lots in this our first term in office,” he told the House.
Additionally, some $521 million will also be used to facilitate survey works in existing housing schemes.
Further, the Housing Minister explained that $1.9 billion will be used to facilitate a 15 per cent mobilisation advance for the construction of the Eccles to Diamond four-lane highway.
The Housing Ministry has expended some $7.3 billion on new infrastructural works as of November 30, 2021. In total, the Housing Ministry received approval for $7.7 billion in supplementary funds.