September 30, 2016

Govt promises house lots for as low as $92,000

By Devina Samaroo

Guyanese can soon expect house lots to be sold for as low as $92,000, as Government forges ahead with its plans to introduce affordable housing options across the country.

Junior Communities Minister Valerie Sharpe-Patterson, who is tasked with overseeing the housing sector, disclosed during a press conference on Monday that the Central Housing and Planning Authority (CH&PA) has the capability of offering house lots at an affordable cost.

Asked what she would define as affordable, the Minister declared, “By affordable, I mean a house lot for $92,000.”

She explained that the CH&PA would be able to offer house lots at such a reduced price by simply cutting the expenses attached to developing housing schemes.

According to CH&PA Director of Operations Denise King-Tudor, the costs for house lots are currently so high because there are numerous factors that are being used to determine the price.

She said the price for land was mainly linked to the cost for infrastructural development – the monies expended behind installing roads, electricity, and water services within the various housing schemes, along with administrative expenses.

She noted too that for the past five years, lands were being purchased from the Guyana Sugar Corporation (GuySuCo) and that also influenced the cost.

The Minister, therefore, posited that the costs for land can be significantly reduced through the acquisition of cheaper costs for material and seeking value for money.

“I know before, in many of the areas, we did not get value for money…some of the total costs claimed to be expended in some of these areas, we did not get value for money … so we are going to ensure this time around, if we say we are going to spend $5 million in this particular area to build the road and put in infrastructure, that indeed that is what is spent,” Sharpe-Patterson stated, noting that she was positive less could be spent while getting the same quality.

Meanwhile, the Minister announced that there were currently no available house lots in Region 10 (Upper Demerara-Berbice) and there were no available low-income house lots in Region Four (Demerara-Mahaica).
Nonetheless, she assured that works were being done assiduously to ensure the available lands in these Regions get the required infrastructure so the house lots could be distributed.

In Linden, Sharpe-Patterson disclosed that the CH&PA has already identified lands to accommodate 2000 house lots.

Housing development is also expected to take place in Bartica, Stewartville, Cummings Lodge, Prospect, Providence, Eccles, Herstelling, and Perseverance.

Moreover, the Minister announced that Government was mulling the idea of developing condominiums to cater for other classes of society.

Condominiums are basically building complexes that contain a number of individually owned apartments.

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