$104M contract inked for 98 low income homes

Minister of Housing and Water Irfaan Ali on Monday inked a $104M contract for the construction of 98 core homes under the second Low Income (LIS 2) Programme and they are expected to be completed by year end.

According to a Govern-ment Information Agency (GINA) press release, the contract was signed between the Guyana government and the Inter-American Develop-ment Bank (IDB). In his address, Ali said the initiative is the start of a strategy, announced earlier to the National Assembly, and represents another accomplished target for the year.

In explaining the concept of a core home, Ali said it is a starter home for starter home for low income families which can be improved, as affordability improves. The recipients would also receive a plan for future expansion. “This is the initial phase, we have more than $440M or US$2.2M set aside in the LIS 2 programme for the construction of more than 400 core homes,” he said. The ministry will be working closely with the contractors to ensure that the works are completed by the end of the year, as construction will be ongoing ‘day and night.’

Government has earmarked $200M for the development of 200 low-income homes for 12,000 hinterland residents under the Second LIS Programme. Ali said this is in keeping with discussions about creating more structured housing in the hinterland, at the recently held toshao conference. The initiative which has seen several community meetings across the hinterland and riverain communities conducted will start within the first quarter of the new year.

So far work has started on the development of eight new schemes, with Tuschen and Non Pariel already completed, while infrastructural work is being done at Belle West and Recht Door Zee. “We are way advance in terms of Ordnance and Fortlands, we are at the design stage at Bartica and we have completed the design and are doing land clearing at Amelia’s Ward so before the end of the year we will have infrastructural work commence in this area,” he said. Another component of the project is the consolidation of seven existing housing schemes, where infrastructure is expected to be boosted and utility services like water and electricity advanced.

In addition, Central Hous-ing and Planning Authority (CH&PA) CEO Myrna Pitt said that the beneficiaries of the core homes would have to satisfy the criteria of their household income being within or up to 60,000 per month. Persons who cannot afford to build their own homes are also eligible. “Thus far, we have been able to select beneficiaries in four areas and we advertise for contractors to do the actual house construction. The units themselves will be 320 square feet with two walls being made out of concrete and two made out of timber to enable the housed to lend themselves to easy expansion by the beneficiary households,” she said.

“Under the LIS2 programme, the development of eight new housing schemes at Tuschen, Recht Door Zee, Belle West, Non Pariel, Ordnance Fortlands, No. 76, Bartica and Amelia’s Ward and the consolidation of seven existing schemes at West-minister, Onderneeming, Recht Door Zee, Lusignan, Bath, Tabatinga and Amelia’s Ward will be completed,” the release said. The construction of 400 core homes and the upgrading of five squatter areas will also be completed at Section D Sophia, Binkey Alley, Lusignan, Area R and Block 5 Ankervill and Elizer and Mary. The CH&PA recently launched its core house pilot project with the aim of providing access to affordable housing and to ensure that the needs of all prospective beneficiaries are met.

GINA said several housing schemes were developed under the scheme which was launched in June 2009. It is expected to improve the access of low-income families to enhanced living conditions through housing solutions and access to house lots.

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