Nine families get core houses at Non Pareil

The Central Housing and Planning Authority (CH&PA) on Thursday handed over nine core homes built at a cost of about $11M at Non Pareil, on the East Coast Demerara, and unveiled plans to build 40 more homes at Westminster.

According to a Government Information Agency (GINA) press release, the homes were built at Block XXX Non Pareil, East Coast Demerara and were formally handed over to the Buxton-Foulis Neighbourhood Democratic Council (NDC). On May 24, 2010, applicants were invited to be beneficiaries of core homes in the area. After the process of elimination, 18 persons were found to have met the requirements. The nine houses will accommodate 38 persons and were built at a total cost of $11.2M, with the individual beneficiaries contributing $100,000 towards the construction of their own homes.

GINA said the core house is part of a larger Second Low Income Settlement Programme (LIS-2.) funded by the Inter American Development Bank and implemented by the CH&PA. The core unit is designed by the CH&PA and is a 330 square foot timber and concrete structure, elevated three feet from ground level, outfitted with a basic kitchen sink, electrical wiring, plumbing, and an enclosed sanitary block comprising a toilet and shower that lends itself to easy expansion.

The CH&PA has also tendered the construction of another 43 houses that will soon start Westminster Phase 1 and another batch in Block EE Non Pareil and in Area B Lusignan. It will soon advertise the tender for the construction of 54 others in Westminster Phase 1 and Onderneeming Phase 1, West Bank Demerara. There are plans to build 400 core homes in different areas countrywide.

Chief Executive Officer of the CH&PA Myrna Pitt told the beneficiaries that the agency was pleased that some of them have started occupying and expanding their homes. Seven of the nine beneficiaries had occupied their homes before Thursday’s official presentation ceremony. However, Pitt reminded the beneficiaries that all extensions must conform to the design of the core home.

Regarding Buxton-Foulis’s governance of the housing scheme, CPHA official Germaine Stuart said the primary purpose for transferring the scheme is to ensure that “the Buxton-Foulis Neighbourood Democratic Council (NDC) plays a more active role in the community development process by managing the local affairs and ensure any future development is carried out in a proper and harmonious manner.” The transfer will ensure sustainability of the scheme, he explained, as the NDC is charged with ensuring all building works in the housing scheme conform to building plans. Chairman of the Buxton-Foulis NDC Randolph Blair said that the NDC is pleased to accept the governance of the scheme and he welcomed the beneficiaries to the area.

Minister of Local Government and Regional Development Norman Whittaker presented keys to the beneficiaries along with a hand book prepared by the CH&PA that contains “do it yourself tips” on maintaining and expanding the structures.

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