With the housing ministry already meeting its goal of allocating 17,000 house lots for 2011, Minister Irfaan Ali has announced that an additional 3,500 house lots would be distributed before year end.
“We are well on track in achieving 3,500 house lots before year end, as we almost had 1,000 lots distributed in Zeelugt at its one stop shop, in another three to four weeks, another 1,000 lots will be distributed in Amelia’s Ward, Linden, and another 1,000 will be ready for distribution at various places in different areas in Region 3, with 400 along the East Coast,” Ali was quoted as saying by the Government Information Agency (GINA).
Within another two to three months, GINA said, aggressive work will be done to have more house lots ready and available for allocation.
“We have a plan of development, [of] almost 17,000 new house lots along the East Bank corridor, we have already made 1,500 of those available to the public in Eccles, and Herstelling, and we are continuing to work to have, by the end of this year, another 500 ready. Then we have the public/partnership, which sees hundreds of homes already commencing construction, so the impact on the economy will be tremendous and investment is also of a high magnitude,” Ali explained.
The minister likened the development along the East Bank to building a new city, pointing out that the area already boasts three banks, a stadium, an industrial complex and plans are in train to build a new mall and a few call centres which will employ thousands of people.
He added that thousands of house lots have already been distributed to teachers, and there is a revolving loan fund which is directly administered by the Ministry of Education to facilitate teachers becoming home owners and gave assurances that the ministry will continue to work to ensure teachers and other persons have access to land. In addition, fire victims from the Kingston and Lombard Street fires who applied for house lots are set to receive them in a few weeks, as they are in the final stages of the application process.
At the same time, government is working with the squatters located near the Cheddi Jagan International Airport, Timehri and expect to resolve the issue shortly, in the wake of the crash landing of a Caribbean Airlines jet. Following the crash, government sees the expansion of the airport’s runway as crucial, GINA noted.
The administration, in its 2006 manifesto, had promised to build new housing schemes across Guyana and thus improved and accelerated distribution of titles and affordable mortgage financing, GINA also said.
In 2010, $2.8 billion was allocated to the housing sector to further housing development, which saw the hosting of 14 ‘One Stop Shops’ in most regions and over 10,000 lots distributed in areas such as Tuschen, Mahdia, Fort Ordnance, Onderneeming, Hope Estate, Non Pareil, Amelia’s Ward, Wismar and Block 22 in Linden Region 10.