In January 2008, if my memory serves me still, I made an application for a plot of land at Diamond, East Bank Demerara. After a non-response from the Ministry of Housing, I reapplied in 2011.
Subsequently in 2013, I wrote the Minister appealing to him to use his good offices to look into my case. This was done without much delay and was referred to Dr King. I was referred to a plot at Parfait Harmonie costing some $1.8M. I made an appeal to Dr King that this was out of my reach and I could not afford it.
After some weeks I received an invitation to attend the Building Expo at the national stadium for the government’s turnkey development. Upon making enquiries, no home plan, size of plot or sample of the structure was available for me to inspect and scrutinize. I gracefully declined and explained that I just needed a simple plot of land where I would be able to build and supervise the construction and specifications. I was then referred to another plot at a cost of $2M.
Editor, I cannot afford these prices and despite my appeals, am being wooed into accepting a turnkey home.
I am now 57 years of age and am trying to not live above my means – with some difficulty. The argument that my salary of $150,000.00 per month justified these costs in the millions is a non-issue, as I even offered to show the ministry how the money is utilized each month, just as the banks and any other lending institutions require on applications.
I have been in contact with another member of staff at the ministry who assured me that he will look into my case, but to date my calls are not even taken or returned.
While I am fighting diligently to obtain a mere piece of land, there are lots in my area that still lie vacant after some 5 years, some without even an attempt at building a structure of sorts, while others carry mansions on low cost land. There is a commercial plot on the line top in my area that is just vacant and overgrown with bush, not to mention the conflicting information on vacant plots on the East Coast where I requested a lot, yet I see businessmen acquiring them with ease or very little problem.
If I could have afforded these prices I certainly would have snapped an offer up without any delay, but unfortunately I must be practical, as happens when we age.