The Ministry of Housing and Water will be offering relief to more than 16 families displaced by the recent fire in Mahdia, Region 8, by establishing a new housing scheme with some 136 house lots, the Government Information Agency (GINA) reported.
Housing Minister Irfaan Ali during a visit to the area on Thursday said that the housing scheme would be part of government’s commitment to bring relief to those affected by last week’s inferno.
The registration process for house lots will begin in a few weeks, the minister said.
Ali’s visit was a follow-up to the one made the day after the fire by a Cabinet team led by Prime Minister Samuel Hinds.
During this visit, the Prime Minister had promised the affected residents that the Housing Ministry’s Central Housing and Planning Authority would visit the area to regularise the housing situation.
And on Thursday Ali led an integrated team that included Permanent Secretary Emile Mc Garrell, Chief Executive Officer of the Central Housing and Planning Authority Myrna Pitt, and officials from the Guyana Lands and Surveys Commission and Guyana Water Inc., GINA stated.
At a meeting in the boardroom of the Regional Democratic Council, Region 8 office, the minister told the affected residents that a speedy solution to the current situation needed unprecedented community involvement.
He noted that while the community felt that the entire living area in central Mahdia needed to be revisited and streamlined, government’s main priority at this time was the almost immediate relocation of those affected and the development of a plan for a new vendors arcade.
Part of the problem, the minister observed, was that the residents had occupied an area originally meant for commercial purposes. He insisted that consensus must be reached for a new arcade structure to be strictly commercial.
The minister said that the area identified for the housing scheme would contain 136 house lots, and all the residents agreed that this would be the best solution, GINA said.
Meanwhile, the ministry has already surveyed and demarcated the area intended for the housing scheme. Moreover, Minister Ali said, the ministry is in discussions with the local Regional Democratic Council to have the area cleared and palls put down in the coming weeks.
On July 1, fire destroyed more than 20 structures in Mahdia’s commercial district, leaving millions of dollars in losses.