The government on Tuesday began the distribution of its promised subsidies for steel and cement with the first 30 persons looking to construct their homes receiving their vouchers.
The distribution process was held at the Ministry of Housing and Water on Brickdam, Georgetown.
As part of its commitment to making homeownership affordable, the government invested some $700 million in the steel and cement housing subsidy programme.
The subsidies voucher basically allows for the cost of the material to be sold at an agreed price for the recipients.
The prices agreed on by all supplies are one sack of cement to be sold at a cost of $1,725, quarter inch steel rod smooth at a cost of $450; half inch steel rod corrugation will cost $1,800; half inch steel rod will cost $2,000; 3/8 steel rod corrugation will cost $1,200 and 3/8 smooth steel rod will be sold for $1,150.
Addressing the 30 recipients, Minister of Housing and Water Collin Croal said the programme will greatly benefit new homeowners who need construction materials to start building on their house lots.
“Verification has already been done for over 500 persons to kick start this programme and the implementation phase but over the next two weeks it will be ramped up and we will have over 500 vouchers being issued,” Croal further noted.
This is a programme designed to ensure that people with hose lots acquire houses.
Officers visited the site of the persons to ensure that the lands are ready for construction. A total of 397 house lots out of 630 house lots have been recommended for the subsidies and 134 were approved by the Central Housing and Planning Authority.
Minister Croal was supported by Minister within the Ministry of Housing and Water, Susan Rodrigues who also explained that while house lots are being distributed there is a gap to get homes built.
As such, the ministry has focused on homeownership and “helping people to acquire their own homes, moving people from being renters to homeowners and achieving the bigger objective of creating wealth,” the minister said.
A recipient, Quacy Smart, said he is happy he can finally commence construction of his home which will benefit his family of four.
“I feel ecstatic! As the Minister alluded, homeownership is a key aspect for each person in Guyana so I was overjoyed when I heard that I meet the requirements.
“The next step is to build. This is a push to start building,” he said.
Another recipient, Narendra Assardin said, “I am pretty excited that I have received this subsidy because over the year’s construction has always been a burden there so this will help homeowners tremendously.”
Last year, President Irfaan Ali announced that persons constructing homes at a value of $6 million or less will become eligible to receive steel and one sling of cement for the construction of the foundation. Meanwhile, those building homes between $6 million to $25 million will be given two slings of cement.
To apply for the subsidy, persons are required to provide copies of relevant documents such as TIN certificates, proof of identification, marriage certificates (if applicable) and approved house plan from the various municipalities. Other documents that are to be presented to be qualified are estimates for the home construction as well as proof of land acquired.