‘A dream come true’- Lethem residents withstood language barrier and long wait for homeownership
By Lazeena Yearwood
Homeownership is a major accomplishment for many people but due to certain circumstances, persons endure long waits to achieve this goal. This was the case for Doris Albert of Tabatinga, Region Nine (Upper Takutu-Upper Essequibo).
She is among 18 persons who received the keys to their clay brick houses, constructed through the Lethem Housing Support Programme.
Doris applied for the house lot at Culvert City since 2008. Minister of Housing and Water Collin Croal on Saturday handed over the keys to the houses valued at $3 million. Overall, the 18 houses are a $54 million investment that supports the economic development in Lethem.
“I feel happy, I want to cry, I want to jump up. I’m glad because you know how long I had this land, government come in, another government come in [and finally I got a house] I am glad for the help,” Albert said.
Doris moved from Yupukari to Tabatinga where she raised her three children as a single parent. Now, her children are adults. She sells snacks at nearby schools to maintain herself.
According to her, after her application at the Ministry of Housing started processing for approval, she had several back-and-forth meetings with the ministry.
The issue was the language barrier between herself and the staff. Doris is from the Macushi tribe and she is not fluent in English but she didn’t let that affect her dream of owning her home.
“When the President went at Tabatinga, I went there because I don’t really know how to speak their language. I am Amerindian.
“I don’t really know English. I does find out from somebody. When they have meetings I does get like family [to help me]…I went in there, I went to the banks, I paid for all that they told me [to pay for],” Doris told the News Room in Lethem on Saturday.
After receiving the keys to her new home on Saturday, Doris expressed profound gratitude to the government for the financial support.
Another beneficiary of the programme, Ekema Glenn, 34, a teacher who currently rents, said becoming a homeowner has been a lifelong dream.
“I’m very elated, this is the realisation of one of my dreams as a young adult, I always wanted to own my own home and this is a dream I am now achieving.
“I’ll move in probably by the end of February. It’s definitely something that’s permanent and one of my goals,” Glenn said.
Glenn applied for a house lot in 2012; he secured a lot in 2019 but couldn’t afford to start construction. As a result, he opted for the government initiative to make the process easier.