The Central Housing and Planning Authority (CH&PA) on Tuesday signed 199 contracts for the construction of 290 housing units and infrastructure works across Regions Three, Four, Five and Six. The contracts were signed at the Arthur Chung Conference Center (ACCC).
The contracts amounting to over $13.9B is touted as the largest sum to be signed on one occasion and will cover the construction of single flat and elevated two-bedroom houses along with the construction of concrete drains, roads and other structures.
According to Chief Executive Officer of the CH&PA Sherwyn Greaves, the new contracts “will make available 10,000 house lots for home ownership in keeping with the government’s promise to provide 10,000 for the next five years.” This will enable the administration to achieve its campaign promise of allocating 50,000 house lots in its first terms in office.
He pointed out that all of the contracts were awarded after a successful bidding process and approval from the board of the CH&PA or the National Procurement and Tender Administration Board (NPTAB).
Minister of Housing and Water Collin Croal who addressed the contractors at the signing ceremony disclosed that the contracts were awarded to 78 contractors of which 26 are new.
He noted that $12B accounts for new infrastructural works.
Croal said $2.2B is being invested in five areas in Region three and $5.5B in Region Four.
The Minister said 8,900 allottees will be benefitting from the developmental projects. He further used the opportunity to address applications which are stalled at the Ministry noting that “often applications are stalled because of incomplete or incorrect information. I appeal to the applicants to ensure that you provide the necessary up to date information to the CH&PA.”
To the contractors, Minister Croal urged them to give value for money.
“I expect that you will put forward your best foot…Put your best foot forward. We owe it to this nation together…We must get value for money,” he told the contractors.
He also urged the workers to be safe. “I want to caution you to ensure that you are provided with the necessary safety gears to work in keeping with the COVID-19 guidelines,” he added.
The Minister warned that contractors will be held accountable for substandard work.
Minister within the Ministry of Housing and Water Susan Rodrigues said Tuesday’s event is “simply put, a demonstration that where there is a will, there is a way and we at the Ministry of Housing and Water and the Government have hit the ground running.”
She assured that the Government will deliver on its commitments.
Also addressing the event was Minister of Finance Dr. Ashni Singh who urged the contractors to show their worth by ensuring that their projects are up to standard and completed on time.
Dr. Singh spoke of efforts by the administration to reduce the cost of building homes by reducing interest rates and removing taxes on construction materials.