“The importance of home ownership to an individual or family is an asset and a sense of security for these individuals,” said President Ramotar at the launching of the 1000 homes turnkey initiative at Perseverance on the East Bank Demerara. These homes ‒ two and three- bedroom structures which will be sold at an average $4 million ‒ are indeed music to the ears of poor and middle-income families. Certainly good news for a sizeable portion of our hardworking population. Nothing is more enlightening than to know that you are now the proud owner of your own home.
To have so many owning a roof over their heads is a remarkable achievement, something other Caribbean nations would gladly emulate. Only recently myself and a compatriot were in a discussion comparing Guyana’s success in this area with that of a sister Caricom country which has a real problem where housing is concerned. Many Caribbean nations with more robust economies are still trying to come to grips with the daunting challenge of housing their peoples, whereas Guyana is quite on top of the situation and ahead of the game. You will find the middle-income family in the wider Caribbean owning a vehicle, but substantial assets such as land and a home are something of a distant dream.
However, I have one question for President Ramotar and it has to do with projects where the actual construction is a concern. Contracts for projects are mainly concentrated in the hands of big business, with the smaller construction firms left out in the cold. Guyana is for all of us, rich and poor alike, so when there is a construction boom as at the present moment, the small man should be given his fair share also.
I am well aware of the argument that there are deadlines to be met while at the same time it has to be clear who should be accountable for what. This can lead to confusion when mini-contractors are involved. But this can easily be solved by the employing ministry making room for the smaller contractors to group themselves under a larger umbrella body. In this way we are assured of them earning their fair share in our booming economy. The small man would be employed, and can now go home with a pay packet to take care of his family; he is part of the Guyana dream.