Hundreds of empty lots in Lethem will soon have houses with gov’t assistance

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The Ministry of Housing and Water has identified some 300 empty lots in Lethem and surrounding areas in Region Nine which were long allocated but remain without any structures.

The owners of those lots have been presented with the opportunity to construct houses through the government’s assistance programs where some 600 houses will be built at a cost of $3 million each.

This program was announced by President Dr. Irfaan Ali during a recent outreach to the region where he sought to fast-track and encourage people towards home building.

The New Building Society (NBS) and the Guyana Bank for Trade and Industry (GBTI) have already committed to pre-approving 300 persons each.

There is also a new housing development in Lethem for which over 300 persons have applied for allocations.

Housing and Water Minister Collin Croal said the government was not just interested in assisting new allottees but also persons who already have titles and have been unable to build.

Through the program, the government will give $1 million to each approved person and the banks will fund the remaining $2 million in a process to be managed by the Central Housing and Planning Authority.

The houses will be constructed in a similar manner to the housing programs on the coast where contractors will build specifically to the design.

Housing and Water Minister, Collin Croal (second from left); Regional Chairman, Brian Allicock and other officials looking at one of the plans pertaining to the Region Nine Housing Scheme

The government has also committed to purchasing clay blocks from within the region to ensure there is support to the village economy even as contractors will be drawn from the region and are encouraged to utilise labour from nearby communities.

Beyond this, Croal said the government was looking at a distinct hinterland housing program which will commence soon to ensure equity in the government’s housing efforts.

Housing officials will be visiting Bartica, Region Seven on October 04, 2022 to follow up on promised home construction there.

An area has already been identified close to the existing housing scheme at Four Miles.

“When we go there it will be a similar exercise where we take the banks to start the registration and possibly of pre-approval and then we move to the contracting stage,” Croal said.

Meanwhile, in other hinterland communities, there are plans to construct houses in a system that always redound to the benefit of the local economy.

“We have a number of communities identified,” Croal said even as he assured of relocation of persons living in riverain areas prone to flooding.

Cokerite, Kwakwani and Smith Creek have already been identified.

Croal said while the hinterland program is in the initial phase, it will take off fully next year with several subsidy opportunities and a substantive hinterland housing department to be established.

“The reality is that we will not be able to respond to every village initially. We have to start somewhere.”

 

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