Over 1,500 young professional houses for LBI as gov’t executes massive housing plan countrywide
By Fareeza Haniff
In its bid to achieve the target of 50,000 house lots over a five-year period, the Ministry of Housing and Water, led by Collin Croal, is executing a massive infrastructure programme across the country that will see the construction of thousands of houses this year.
Construction and preparatory works are ongoing in Regions Two, Three, Four, Six, Nine and Ten, Croal told the News Room on Friday last.
But in Region Four (Demerara-Mahaica) alone, the La Bonne Intention (LBI) community on the East Coast of Demerara (ECD) is among the largest infrastructure projects this year and according to Croal, over 1,500 young professional houses are set to be constructed in this area in addition to the house lots that have already been allocated.
“Now, La Bonne Intention, if you go now where the infrastructure is ongoing, we have allocated that area but there is a massive area that we’re developing for the construction of over 1,500 young professional houses and so, we have catered to commence infrastructure works this year; these are for access, including drain, culverts, water access and connectivity and baseline infrastructure,” the Housing Minister said.
Young professional houses are also currently under construction at Providence and Prospect on the East Bank of Demerara (EBD) and form only a fraction of the People’s Progressive Party Civic’s (PPP/C) housing plan.
“A lot of people have been asking for the young professional houses especially, and the areas we’ve completed so far, we’ve allocated all already so persons can expect more coming on stream,” Minister Croal said.
There are also major housing projects ongoing at Sophia, Cummings Lodge in Greater Georgetown; Vigilance/Bladen Hall/ Strathspey areas, ECD; La Reconnaissance, ECD; Little Diamond, Great Diamond and Golden Grove, EBD.
“So, in essence, in Region Four, one can expect a lot of houses for which we are doing the baseline infrastructure to access for where we have a number of houses being constructed,” Minister Croal told the News Room.
On the East Bank corridor, Croal said that some 360 persons have been allocated low-income house lots at Block 18 Golden Grove while over 500 houses, including young professional homes, will be constructed at Little and Great Diamond in addition to the house lots allocated.
Additionally, more than 100 houses will be constructed at Block Five, Great Diamond.
“So you will recognise that a number of houses will be constructed and the infrastructure work is being put in this year to commence construction of these houses this year too.”
Meanwhile, on the East Coast corridor, the Housing Ministry has already allocated over 1,400 house lots at La Reconnaissance in addition to the construction of 300 moderate-income houses.
About 900 house lots have also been allocated at Onderneeming and Charity in Region Two (Pomeroon-Supenaam) and according to Coral, over $1.2 billion will be spent in this region alone.
In Region Three (Essequibo Islands-West Demerara), approximately 2,000 Guyanese who have been allocated lands will be able to start construction by the end of April 2022.
Infrastructure works such as roads, bridges and culverts, are nearing completion in Edinburg, Anna Catherina, Cornelia Ida, Stewartville and Meten-Meer-Zorg.
Meanwhile, some $823 million is expected to be spent in Region Nine (Upper Takutu– Upper Essequibo) where 500 house lots were distributed at Track ‘CH&PA’ housing scheme in the vicinity of ‘Poke’ Bridge, Lethem.
Works are also ongoing at Amelia’s Ward Phase Two, Linden, Region Ten where 40 elevated houses will be constructed at a cost of $300 million.
Croal told the News Room that the Housing Ministry is looking to regularize the major squatting issue in this community.
“By October the latest, one can expect that the infrastructure we’re doing this year, can be completed by then. That is what we’re catering for,” Croal said.
He also issued a stern warning to contractors of these projects that the government will not tolerate delays.
“We will be rigid in terms of our monitoring of contractors. We are enforcing liquidated damages in some cases where it is required.
“There are penalties and recourse should there be a delay…extensions can be granted but it has to be justified and there must be reasons out of control,” the Housing Minister emphasised.
While $12.4 billion has been earmarked this year for infrastructural development in housing schemes, Croal told the News Room that the ministry will tap into the “Housing Fund” of the Central Housing and Planning Authority (CH&PA).