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10,000 house lots, 7,000 land titles to be allocated this year- Housing Minister

With the provision of $8.9B in the 2021 National Budget, the Housing Ministry is looking to allocate 10,000 house lots this year and clear a backlog of 7,000 land titles. This is according to Housing Minister Collin Croal.

Making his contribution to the ongoing Budget debates on Friday, the Minister noted that “homeownership Mr. Speaker is arguably the main goal of every Guyanese citizen and this PPP/C has always made affordable housing a priority.”

According to the Housing Minister, his Ministry allocated 3,600 house lots and 413 titles were handed over to citizens in the People’s Progressive Party’s first four months in office.

“This year, we will also build 1,000 homes for young professionals and for low income earners and residents of Region 10 will also benefit from the construction of over 1,000 homes through public–private partnership, with community involvement in every step and every process,” Croal added.

The Minister told the National Assembly that 1000 Low-Income and Young Professional Housing Units will be built this year in Cummings Lodge, Prospect, Providence, Little Diamond, & Great Diamond in Region Four; in Onderneeming and Wales in Region Three; in Ordinance/Fortlands, Hampshire and Williamsburg in Region Six and Region No. 10 -Amelia’s Ward.

Further, he said Core Homes will be built in Parfaite Harmonie and Sophia.

“…this work our government has engaged, we are focused on providing our citizens with the best housing interventions. Not only are we providing affordable housing, not only are we making them sustainable in well-developed communities, we are also ensuring that the private sector partners can contribute too to the housing drive. And so, the ease of the burden of high construction and materials cost, we have removed the VAT from locally,” the Minister pointed out.

The low-income mortgage ceiling was also raised to $12 million to reduce interest rates and make life easier for citizens while the ceiling for mortgages issued by the New Building Society was raised from $12 million to $15 million.

Meanwhile, Croal said his Ministry is also working to address the constraints faced in obtaining a Planning; a process which he described as currently “painstaking, frustrating and really a headache.”

Presently, potential business owners are saddled with the responsibility of running back forth to a number of government agencies, including Guyana Fire Service, the Environmental Protection Agency and other many areas to check on the status of their permit.

However, the Minister said works have already begun to revamp the process, including the strengthening of staff capacity and technology.

“During the next few weeks, all local democratic organs will be provided with a detailed
list of documents that must be submitted and a revised Building Application Form. These measures, these two measures alone Mr. Speaker will significantly reduce the processing time,” he noted.

The Minister also spoke of plans to improve infrastructure within housing schemes and ensure clean water supply to all Guyanese.

Budget 2021 is themed ‘A path to recovery, economic dynamism and resilience.