By Isaiah Braithwaite
GEORGETOWN, Guyana, (DPI) – Approximately $4.4 billion will be spent on infrastructural development works for several housing areas on the East Coast Demerara where lands have already been allotted, minister of housing and water Collin Croal disclosed during an outreach to Annandale.
Last year, house lots were allotted at Strathspey, Bladen Hall, Vigilance, Plantation Annandale, La Bonne Intention and Cummings Lodge.
“Those are the areas we are developing the infrastructural work now to ensure those persons who were allotted for those areas can access and start building. It is intended we will be spending $4.4 billion on infrastructure work alone for those communities on the East Coast for which we have made allocations for house lots.
Construction for those areas that we have made allocations have already commenced and by the latter half of this year, all of those infrastructure work will be complete and you will be able to have a fully developed area for which you can do your construction,” he said.
The work, which falls under the ministry’s 2021 work programme, includes the construction of roads and drainage channels and access to water and electricity.
“When we give you communities, we want to give you complete communities so that you will not have an excuse as to why you are not able to access your facility,” minister Croal said.
The government is committed to clearing the backlog of house lot applications in the system and is looking to acquire more lands for development. Minister Croal said this would be done with assistance from president Dr Mohamed Irfaan Ali, the Guyana Lands and Surveys Commission, the Guyana Sugar Corporation and the National Industrial and Commercial Investments Limited.
The PPP/C administration has pledged to allocate 50,000 house lots over five years, as outlined in its manifesto. To date, through the president’s dream realised initiative, over 3,600 house lots have been delivered over four months across three regions.
In the 2020 emergency budget, the government implemented several measures to make homeownership affordable for all. This includes the reversal of the value-added tax on building materials to make building homes more affordable. The government also increased the mortgage interest relief ceiling from $15 million to $30 million.
Also in attendance today were representatives from the Guyana Water Incorporated and the ministry’s community relations department, which deals with issues concerning encroachment and squatting.
The government is hosting outreaches countrywide to ensure it has continuous engagement with residents and communities.