Open House seeking to drive sale of Perseverance duplexes

A worker applying finishing touches to the walkway of one of the duplexes at Perseverance, on the East Bank of Demerara, where the Central Housing and Planning Authority is hosting a two-week ‘Open House’ event to generate interest in the homes. (Photo by Keno George)

With duplexes being a key component of its housing strategy, the CH&PA yesterday held an Open House Event at Perseverance, East Bank Demerara in bid to whip up interest in the purchase of the units.

After securing half of one of the duplexes being constructed by the Central Housing and Planning Authority (CH&PA), Akeem Wilson, a young teacher, told reporters yesterday that he was encouraging all young people to explore the opportunity to secure their own home.

Officials from the CH&PA, including Public Relations Officer Iva Wharton and Programme Engineer Randolph Hunt, were also present yesterday as the Open House Event was officially launched.

Wilson, 25, who teaches at Freeburg Secondary School, was able to purchase one of the duplex units and it is a decision he says he has not regretted as he encouraged other youths to explore the option.

Wilson noted that the idea first came to him at the Building Expo that the CH&PA hosted last year and while trying to acquire land he discovered the option to own a piece of land and one of the duplex units.

He said that the opportunity of being able to finally have a house of his own spurred him on to continue trying to secure one and he was eventually was able to do so via a loan from Republic Bank (Guyana) Ltd.

“I would’ve applied for my land and then after they had the Expo right away I fell in love with the actual flat duplex. I started trying and investigating to get one and I was actually able to acquire one of them so basically upon inspecting it and so on I am very pleased with the work and as soon as they hand over the keys I’ll be able to move in,” Wilson said.

Wilson added that he thinks it is a step in life that every young person should consider as opposed to the popular option of owning a vehicle first.

“I mean, yes, you need a vehicle but you can’t live in a vehicle and in most cases the value of a vehicle depreciates but a house doesn’t because the population is growing and the amount of land available is going to be constantly depleting and I would encourage anybody, especially young people and anyone who doesn’t own their own home, to try as much as possible to take the same option as me,” he added.

Wilson had been one of a number of persons who had been taken on a tour of the duplexes on November 29th last year and he had been just as enthusiastic about them.

Also speaking at the event yesterday, Wharton said that it was organised to quell any skepticism persons might have had based on the issues that they experienced with the turn-key houses in terms of the quality of construction work.

“We felt the need to regain the confidence of the Guyanese public and a chance to show them what we have to offer,” she said, while adding that the Open House Event was also organised so that persons are able to have a firsthand experience of what $7.1 million gets them.

“I know we’ve had problems before but you would not see any of those problems repeating themselves. We have our engineers on the ground inspecting the project at every stage, so they are always doing quality testing,” Wharton said.

Hunt also emphasised that the event was arranged to give the intended owners “an idea of the level of comfort that we are providing them with along with the space….”

Hunt noted that they have completed 33 of the 40 duplexes. He also added that from the building expo last year, only minor aesthetic changes were made, inclusive of changes to the roof and tiling of the floors along with a walkway and bridge.

While persons would’ve expressed their concern about inferior work being done on the buildings, Hunt said persons should not expect to see any major faults as they have been keeping a very close eye on each of the duplex’s construction.  “Like in any building and construction when you would’ve set a cost, the possibility of getting it 100 percent perfect is basically impossible. With those units, say you cater for a defects period and you expect things to go bad it would be minor stuff like door locks becoming a little loose, the levers for windows and those kinds of things. You will have some cracks, however with these units we have put better systems in place so if you see a crack it will just be a hairline crack,” he said, while stating that they do not expect any major defects.

According to Wharton, so far they have sold six of the units and have sent out more than 200 letters to persons who would’ve applied, urging them to visit the banks to get their prequalification letters.

Wharton also added that they are urging persons to ensure they visit their banks first and make a decision on which path they are going to take before applying to purchase one of the duplex units.

“What we had in the past is that persons were just coming and saying they want to go to Republic Bank or Demerara Bank and then they come back and change their minds. So we are encouraging them to go first to the bank and then come back and say which lending instituting they are going to use,” she said.

The Open House will run for two weeks and persons can visit anytime between 9am and 2pm on weekdays and 9am and 1pm on weekends.

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