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All Guyanese will recall the promises made by the PPP/C during their Campaign for the March 2, 2020 General and Regional Elections – that they are going to create 50,000 jobs, make available 50,000 low-income house lots among other promises. However, in the interest of space in your letter column, I will narrow my focus on the distribution of 50,000 house lots.
Affordable and decent housing should be the priority of any Government. I have continuously bemoaned the fact that CHPA was primarily established to provide affordable housing to the working class. However, after October 1992, the entire focus was shifted by the PPP/C. The rich continue to benefit from large acreage of lands, where development occurs, and houses/lots are sold at exorbitant prices to ordinary Guyanese.
The PNC administration pre-October 1992 and the APNU+AFC Coalition Government post May 2015, both had a structured Policy for the housing sector unlike the PPP/C regime which is all about allocating “bush lots” and referring to them as “house lots.”
The political figures at the helm of the Housing Sector regularly inform Guyanese that they are on target to achieve their 50,000 house lots target. They are on record stating that the Ministry has already allocated some 10,000 -11,000 house lots. The figures constantly shift, this is because of the misinformation the PPP/C regime continues to propagate.
What they are failing to tell Guyanese is that half of those allocations were made by the Coalition Government in the areas of Prospect and Providence on EBD, Cummings Lodge, LBI Tracts X and Y, Strathspey, Annandale, and Vigilance on the ECD, Experiment in WCB, Fort Ordinance, Williamsburg, Numbers 75, 76 and 79 villages.
Therefore, the figures being touted by the PPP/C regime do not represent lots allocated by the PPP/C. The record is there to show that under the first twenty-three years of the PPP/C Government, they never issued 20,000 house lots, nor 50,000 house lots in a five-year period. When will the PPP/C stop attempting to misinform citizens with their propaganda?
I have seen a receipt where a CHPA “allottee” was given an allocation in the Le Resouvenir area for $700,000.00. Since the area is devoid of basic infrastructure the allottee agreed to purchase land, allocated by CHPA in Annandale, E.C.D, from a “middleman” for $2M. I have seen the receipt for partial payment for the lot, which is NOT in the name of CHPA. Is the Authority now selling lots through an agent? Why is CHPA allowing citizens to be fleeced by known characters? I therefore call for an urgent Commission of Inquiry into the allocation and sale of houses/house lots by CHPA.
The PPP/C regime, since taking office, has failed to share their Housing Policy with citizens. Guyana is now considered the “fastest growing economy” in the world, due to the oil resource, yet our people continue to live on the poverty line. Quite recently the IDB report revealed that poverty is rising in Guyana. Just as those residing in Pardoville one and two enjoy good infrastructure, at the expense of taxpayers, low-income families and public servants deserve well developed communities. It is my fervent hope that Budget 2023 will provide for the use of some of the oil wealth to construct houses for low-income earners and public servants.
Finally, I applaud Mr. Ali’s recent humanitarian efforts to build and furnish houses for a few vulnerable families and pray this offer will be extended to include families, in similar circumstances, outside of his constituencies.
Member of Parliament