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Dear Mr. Editor,
Last week the People’s Progressive Party Civic celebrated its first year in office, albeit installed, the government has, over the last year, failed to address the needs of the Guyanese people while continue to focus on frivolous matters and cheap politicking while the people of this country continue to suffer. It has been one year of hampers and promises.
Nonetheless, Mr. Editor, I wish to focus on the government’s housing programme.
In the People’s Progressive Party Civic Regime’s 2020 Manifesto, on page 36, under the captioned “Affordable Housing,” this is what the Introduction said: “Hallmarks of PPPc governments have been the housing program providing affordable housing to all Guyanese. The PPPc developed and distributed 112,766 house lots to Guyanese families, 80% of which went to Low-income families.”
Further, they claimed “APNU+AFC, no new housing schemes have been established and construction has slowed in existing schemes and the following promises were made for the housing sector, these include but are not limited to; Create 10,000 house lots annually, invest in support infrastructure in existing and new housing schemes, reverse VAT on building materials, facilitate affordable financing for home ownership, promote home ownership, particularly among youths and young professionals, through tax and other incentives, promote partnerships and incentivize private sector involvement in the Sector.
Within its first year, the government has thus far boasted of allocating six thousand (6000) house lots a clear shortfall from the ambitious’10,000’ mark.
Mr. Editor, the PPP/C regime has highlighted its housing plan for the two decades- as ambitious as it maybe- it shows the foundation which was set and left behind by the APNU+AFC government.
Mr. Editor, When the Coalition took office in May 2015, our medium-term goal for the housing sector was “to improve the quality of life through the provision of adequate and affordable housing solutions.” While the PPPc regime in their 2020 Manifesto has accused the “APNU+AFC of not developing no new housing schemes. This is far from the truth! The APNU+AFC records speaks for itself, While we did not enjoy a full term in office, the Central Housing and Planning Authority through the Ministry of Communities was able to accomplish the following though they were challenges and constraints in the Housing Sector inherited from the PPPc government because of their failed policies and programmes geared not to favour women, youths, Public Servants, single mothers, elderly, disability and Low income earners, but rather their friends, families and cronies… a typical example the “PRADOVILLE 2 FIASCO.”
The CORE challenges facing Guyana’s housing programme are as follows:
- Cost of financing
- Inadequate public infrastructure and services
- The need for strategic planning
- Low take up in housing schemes
- The need for a revision of the current configuration of processing applications
Mr. Editor, it is an understatement by the PPPc regime to say that the APNU+AFC government never developed “NO NEW HOUSING SCHEMES.” Well, as the last sitting Minister with responsibility for housing under the David Granger Administration, let me highlight the accomplishments of the Housing Sector for May 2015 to May 2020, twenty-one (21) New Housing areas were established, namely:
1.0 HOUSING AREAS
|NO.||DEVELOPED SCHEMES||NO. OF LOTS||NO||SCHEMES TO BE DEVELOPED||NO. OF LOTS|
|1.||Pln. Recht Door Zee, WBD||25||11||Pln. Mon Repos, ECD||202|
|2||Parcel 123-125 Providence, EBD||1258||12||Pln. Vigilance, Bladen Hall and Strathspey, ECD||848|
|3||Section ‘D’ Non Pariel, ECD||30||13||Pln. Annadale, ECD||377|
|4||Pln. Providence Phase IV, EBD||97||14||Pln. La Bonne Intention, ECD||455|
|5||Pln. Peter’s Hall Block 11, EBD||279||15||Parcel 115 Providence, EBD||193|
|6||PP La Penitence, Georgetown||18||16||Prospect Phase 3, EBD||614|
|7||Amelia’s Ward, Linden||129||17||Pln. Cummings Lodge, Georgetown||370|
|8||Pln. Experiment, WCB||52||18||Pln. Experiment, WCB||670|
|9||Pln. Onderneeming, WBD||19||19||Pln. Fortland/Ordinance, EBB||251|
|10||Pln. Prospect Tract ‘E’, EBD||186||20||#75 Corriverton,||257|
|TOTAL LOTS||2068||21||#79 Corriverton||36|
Housing units were allocated in the following areas: Perservance, EBD, Onderneeming, WBD, Experiment, WCB, Amelia’s Ward, Linden and Prospect, EBD.
The Coalition Government, the Central Housing and Planning Authority through the Ministry of Communities then in 2019 was able to acquire lands and made advancement payments to the Guyana Lands and Survey Commission in the following areas:
Mr. Editor, they are in excess of three hundred housing areas incomplete across regions, which require road upgrades. The Coalition Government assessed the cost implications to have the works done in these areas and it would have cost the government close to $50 Billion dollars.
The PPPc regime has failed tremendously in moving the housing sector in the past and they will continue with their old habits and ways of doing business. Many have reported that people have started to compromise the system, where persons desperately for an allocation are paying in excess of five hundred thousand dollars ($500,000.00) to process their application.
Like other Ministries, the PPPc government pre-May 2015 had no plan nor roadmap for the housing sector and I can guess they is none, but Guyanese are being plagued with imaginary dreams by this regime and should be mindful and careful of their FAILED POLICIES AND PROGRAMMES FOR THE HOUSING SECTOR.
In conclusion, a clear comparison of the two governments Policies for the housing sector, I do believe that the Coalition government had a better plan for housing, since we were building and creating wholesome and cohesive communities, rather than “bush lots”. A classical model is the Perseverance area on the East Bank Demerara, just take a TOUR.
Yours in service,
Ms. Annette Ferguson
Member of Parliament