Region Three landowners get steel and cement subsidies


An estimated 100 persons living in Region Three (Essequibo Islands-West Demerara) received the Ministry of Housing and Water’s steel and cement subsidies on Monday to start building their homes.

The handing over ceremony was held at the Regional Democratic Council office at Vreed-en-Hoop.

The beneficiaries of the vouchers expressed gratitude to the government for the initiative.

A teacher, Katherine Singh, was among the recipients on Monday. She told reporters that she has tried multiple avenues to access finance for construction but they were all futile. She will now be able to start building a home for herself and her family.

“I’m really excited because rent is a big thing for me and I can’t afford it; so I want to thank God and thank the ministers and everybody else.

“Owning my own home is a big thing because my husband and I have been renting for a very long time and I have two boys,” Singh said.

A recipient of the steel and cement subsidy

Mervin Mariono, another beneficiary, said he intends to commence building as soon as possible.

“It is very hard to afford these things. At least now it will be a startup for me and I am very glad,” Mariono said.

Another recipient, Lloyd Davidson, told reporters that he is happy because his family needs a place of their own and with the steel and cement voucher, he intends to commence construction immediately.

Minister of Housing and Water Collin Croal said Region Three is undergoing a transformation that will improve the economy for all residents. Hence, the Ministry visited the region and approved 143 beneficiaries for the steel and cement programme.

He said this programme will greatly assist in developing the Region and the people living there. He said the Ministry is often only regarded for the allocation of houselots but the ministry does much more than that.

“It is always satisfying when we can reach to that point in being amble to implement a policy programme that will bring ease to the lives of citizens,” Minister Croal said.

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.

Minister Croal urged the steel and cement suppliers in the region to join the programme to supply for the entire region.

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.

Croal said 81 persons fall under the $6M bracket while the additional 62 were above the $6M.

A recipient of the steel and cement subsidy

The Minister urged beneficiaries to make the most of the subsidy and to start their foundation.

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 relevant authorities, along with estimates and proof of land ownership.

Regional Chairman, Inshan Ayube, praised the government for the initiative, saying it was timely and greatly needed.

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