The Ministry of Housing and Water is to pioneer what it calls a ‘One Stop Shop’ outreach programme in various regions across the country to eliminate the backlog of house lot applications and improve its efficiency in the delivery of goods and services.
And the first outreach will be held today and tomorrow, beginning at 9 am daily in Region Three at the Uitvlugt Community Centre, West Coast Demerara, the Government Information Agency (GINA) reported.
The agency reported also that this programme would address general housing and water issues, including allocation and identification and payment for house lots, processing and distributing of titles and transports and addressing customer complaints, bill queries and leakage reports.
Meanwhile, Minister of Housing and Water Irfaan Ali in an interview with GINA said his ministry would be establishing a replica of the institution in the region with the aim of transferring core services to the people there.
GINA quoted him as saying that, “We are hoping to target 500 house lots on these two-days and when we say allocation, we are going to complete the entire process from interview, allocation, identification, payment and agreement of sale. Everything will be done under one roof within these two days… This of course will reduce the backlog in terms of the applications that we have to look at for Region Three… In the coming weeks and months the ministry will be moving to other regions.”
Representatives from the banking sector will be present to inform and explain to persons about the services they have available, and the minister said further that free services will also be offered through his ministry’s Engineering Department as it relates to information and options for low-income houses.
“Persons would not have to go to architects to design their buildings… We are preparing details for each design so that people can use when they go to the bank. It will save them time, it will save them money and the whole process will become very efficient because our business is not only to allocate house lots but we want to do everything within our capacity and in our power to encourage persons to commence construction. This is one of the initiatives we had promised this year and we are commencing that now, Ali said according to GINA.
In addition, he said the Guyana Water Incorporated (GWI) will be linking with the institution to render advice and listen to customers’ water concerns.
Central Housing and Planning Authority, Chief Executive Officer, Myrna Pitt said the ‘one stop shop’ concept is not new to the authority since similar programmes were conducted in previous years, but this time it will be on a larger scale.
Meanwhile, Land Deve-lopment and Administrative Manager, Denise King-Tudor said the two-day programme will seek to address applicants who have applied for house lots prior to December 2008 while persons who have applied in December 2008 applications will be addressed at a later date. She added, according to GINA, that lots will be allocated within two housing schemes, Parfait/ Harmonie and Tuschen.