President Donald Ramotar joined Housing Minister Irfaan Ali and a team from the ministry on Friday at the Uitvlugt/Leonora Estate Community Centre Complex where over 840 house lots were allocated at Zeelugt Phase 3 during the latest One Stop Shop exercise.
“I know for many of you this is a very important day, particularly many of you will have an opportunity to own a piece of land to build your home for the first time,” Ramotar told the gathering, a report from the Government Informa-tion Agency (GINA) said. As at similar exercises, recipients were given information on accessing loans, home furnishings and other services relevant to the home ownership process.
“We have been investing in things like education, health and more importantly having the security of your own home. We believe that when you have that security of your own home, you have greater peace of mind and you can work and produce more,” the president said.
Meanwhile, the housing minister revealed that the Central Housing and Planning Authority (CHPA) is currently discharging applications from up to June 201. Despite the costs, he said government remains committed to ensure that every single Guyanese becomes a home owner.
“Taking into consideration all the revenue and all the expenditure, there is a difference of $537M… but for this Government that is not a loss because we are investing in your lives and your future,” Ali said. However, he pledged that government will deliver the promised 30,000 house lots to Guyanese over five years from as stated in its manifesto. From 2011 to date, government is about 14.5% ahead of that target, he said; and by year end, the CHPA would have delivered over 2,400 new lots in Region Three. To complement this, major road works are being planned for the region, including the resurfacing of the West Demerara thoroughfare.
In his remarks, Perma-nent Secretary at the ministry Emil Mc Garrell said the One Stop Shop exercises aim to provide opportunities for persons to realise the dream of becoming a home-owner. Similarly, Region Three Chairman Julius Faerber asserted that homeownership has become easier for all Guyanese; though he noted that in certain areas some allottees have yet to erect any structure though they have had the land for some time.
Another one stop shop will soon be held in Lust-en-Rust, Region Three, while in November more than 1,000 lots will be distributed at the Guyana National Stadium for the Covent Garden Housing Scheme, East Bank Deme-rara. Three other exercises have also been planned for December for De Willem and Zeeburg, West Coast Demerara, Providence Phase 3, and Farm Phase 3 East Bank Demerara.
Also, road upgrades to the tune of $600M have also been scheduled for Region Three at Zeelugt, Zeeburg and Tuschen, that will benefit 2,500 people. Ongoing works in Region Three at La Parfait Har-monie Housing Scheme and developments in Lust-en-Rust add up to an investment of $3billion. Scheduled works to the main access road to the Parfait scheme will cost $400M.
According to GINA, the housing programme has developed tens of thousands of new house lots across the country. Since 2008, thousands of additional lots have been distributed; and hundreds of core houses and dozens of turnkey houses have been built. In 2012, nine one stop shop exercises were held resulting in the allocation of 5,869 house lots. Additionally 4,996 land titles were processed, and 2,577 distributed. Seventy-five core houses were built and distributed, bringing the total number of persons benefiting from the pilot to 116 households in regions Three, Four and Five.