No more ‘paying rent’ – say new house lot owners

- as first ‘Dream Realised’ drive for 2022 kicks off

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By Shikema Dey

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The days of paying rent for 43-year-old Ylonne Solomon are finally over after she received her house lot allocation on Friday as the first ‘Dream Realised’ drive for 2022 kicked off at the Guyana National Stadium at Providence, East Bank Demerara.

Solomon’s joy was etched on her face as she waited patiently for her house lot number to be called by representatives of the Central Housing and Planning Authority (CH&PA).  She applied for her house lot in 2003 and after five years, she lost hope of being a homeowner.

“I was running back and forth, month after month at Housing to see if they had some place for me and after a while, I give up and seh I gon be renting forever,” Solomon told the News Room.

“But now, I got my house lot and I am too happy and I just want to start building my house.”

The struggle of renting was also something that 42-year-old Londell Payne experienced. The mother of two shared that she applied in 2005 and knew she would have to wait a while before getting a positive call from CH&PA.

The days of renting for Ylonne Solomon are over. (Photo: News Room/ March 11, 2022)

“I didn’t expect it woulda take this long…I stayed with family and then before I moved to rent with my husband and my children…now I can say I got my own land, something that my children can have down the line,” she shared.

Oceana Obringo did not have that much of a wait, but she explained to the News Room that she has been paying rent since 2011.

Four years ago, the 33-year-old mother of three decided to apply for her house lot as the “burden of paying rent became too much”.

Now, Obringo shared her excitement with the News Room that she is looking forward to constructing her home from scratch.

“Me and my husband, we are ready to start building. We don’t have to rent no more, and that will help us to build the house,” she said.

The three women were just a small fraction of the moderate, middle and high-income individuals who received their house lot allocation at the housing drive.

Over 700 people can soon build their house at the Grove-Diamond Block 1 Housing Development area on the East Bank corridor that is set for massive development in the coming months.

And with an approximated 15,000 house lots set to be distributed by the end of the year, Minister of Housing and Water Collin Croal was happy to report that PPP/C government is well on its way to distributing 50,000 house lots in the first five years.

Londell Payne, a mother of two applied for her house lot in 2005 and now has her own land. (Photo: News Room/ March 11, 2022)

“This promise cannot, however, be fulfilled without changes to the way we do business at the ministry and this means making the services we provide more efficient and effective, as well as, to expanding the role of the ministry within the infrastructural trajectory set by the Government of Guyana.

“As you have seen in the past 15 months, the Ministry of Housing and Water has added the construction of major roads to its portfolio. This new role is continuing to expand,” Minister Croal told the new allottees.

The minister noted too that the East Bank Corridor is seeing an injection of infrastructural projects, not only from the government but also from the private sector.

He said that infrastructure works at Prospect, Little Diamond, Great Diamond and on the four-lane highway from Mandela to Eccles are nearing the completion stage while those at Providence Blocks 1 and 2 are fully completed, all to the tune $6.8 million.

“And this augurs well for the future of the community,” he continued.

The Housing Minister also reminded the allottees to be wary of third-party persons who claim they can help streamline the house lot process.

A section of the crowd gathered at the event on Friday.

“We are aware that there are still people who fall prey to unscrupulous individuals who are pretending that they are in some special position to quote ‘help you get a house lot’.

“We are also aware that those persons will ask you to pay them to help you get the lot. I want to say this you: do not have to pay anyone to get a house lot. Once your application is in, you are guaranteed to get one.”

Meanwhile, the Minister within the Ministry of Housing and Water, Susan Rodrigues was keen to note that becoming a homeowner is “an empowering thing” especially for women.

And this is evidenced by the number of house lots being allocated to single women and mothers since the government took office.

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