Capitalising on the housing boom in Guyana, Hits and Jams (HJ) on Thursday launched its pre-fab homes that are made of galvanised steel under its Steel Buildings Guyana Inc. Pre-fab Housing Project.
One of the houses, which can be built in six weeks, was open and placed on display during a media launch at HJ office in Lance Gibbs Street, Queenstown, Georgetown.
These two-bedroom houses, which are valued at G$8.5 million, contain a bath, kitchen and dining area. They are between 600 to 850 square feet and termite resistant.
Investors’ confidence and support
Minister of Housing and Water, Collin Croal said this step by HJ is the kind of support that will move and further develop the rapidly growing housing sector.
“This venture the team is embarking on is an indication for the rapidly changing dynamics of the housing sector.”
According to Croal, the HJ team is responding to new demands that are unlike anything currently available in Guyana. He further said the ministry needs this type of support from investors.
“With other stakeholders this sparks new life into the sector. We know that we can’t respond to the demands alone, we need support, we need investors in this sector and hence we have the partnership of these investors,” the minister said.
Minister within the Housing Ministry, Susan Rodrigues said: “They are doing this all on their own because they recognise there is potential for it.”
“Every time you see the Ministry of Housing delivering house lots to the people, you know right away that people have a need for housing.”
She said that the goal isn’t to only offer houses that the ministry can build, but to collaborate with others to ensure affordable housing is available.
“We have been laser focused on providing home ownership.”
“We are not satisfied by merely delivering house lots to our people. We are inclined to ensuring that we can put them in a home, ensuring that we create the right climate, that we create the right investment climate and that we create the opportunities for people to be able to afford their own homes,” she further said.
The minister said that ensuring that Guyanese are able to own their own homes is important. She also noted that in doing so, the housing sector has to expand to non-traditional home building.
“We have to adopt and we cannot be afraid of new technology. We have to be able to adopt to new technology and construction methods,” she said.
Modern design and solution
The technical engineer behind the structure is Technical Engineer Nicholas Belle of Light Gauge Solutions Incorporated. He explained that the structure is made of galvanised steel and it is not combustible.
According to Belle, similar houses are being made in Barbados using the same methods which were utilised here. He divulged that before the houses could be built here, tests were done to ensure they can withstand the climatic conditions.
Members of the team who worked on the house were Guyanese trained in Barbados.
“The galvanised steel that we are using comes with a G19 coating and this is very good for saline environments,” Belle said.
He added: “All the material used on the internal and the external are non-combustible.”
“There’s nothing that can’t be accomplished with this infrastructure, from a low to mid to high end facilities and high end structures.”