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Kindly allow me to respond to Mr. Colin Croal’s letter, published in the Letters column, Stabroek News of January 5th, 2023, where he attempts to repudiate the facts stated in my letter published on December 31st, 2022.
Editor, my first observation from Mr. Croal’s letter is the issue of the number of house lot applications he claimed to have inherited from the Coalition Government. Mr. Croal ought to be reminded that the PPPC regime held the reins of Government from October 5, 1992 to May 11, 2015, a total of twenty-three (23) consecutive years. When the Coalition assumed office in 2015 there were 56,000 pending applications for house lots. Mr. Croal has stated that when the PPPC returned to office in 2020 they found 75,509.
The allocations purportedly made by the current administration since 2020, as stated in Mr. Croal’s letter, are not factual. I therefore call on Mr. Croal to make available to the people of Guyana, the chronological disaggregation of land sold/lots distributed in each area by name and category; how many houses have been built and how many are occupied.
No doubt, Mr. Croal, in an effort to further mislead the public has captured in his statistics the prime lands sold by the PPPC to friends and supporters of the PPPC in May 2015. Editor, on May 6, 2015, a total acreage of 12.5, in the Golden Grove EBD area, approximately sixty house lots were sold for $7M per acre to Queensway Housing Development. Many are cognizant who Queensway is associated with. The other Company, Navigant Buildings Inc, was sold 15 acres of land for $9M per acre. This transaction was done on May 15, 2015, four days after the May 2015 General and Regional Elections and one day before the inauguration ceremony for President David Granger. Editor, it was under the watch of Mr. Ifraan Ali, then Minister of Housing and Water, that these transactions were done. These egregious acts are captured in the ‘Forensic Report’, for CHPA, dated May 12, 2017, a public document.
As I intimated earlier, the PPPC managed the sale of land and house lots as though state lands were the “estate of the PPPC.” Many other huge swathes of land were sold to the rich under the guise of housing development and in the few instances where houses were built/lots allocated they were outside the reach of the working class. Many lots in housing schemes are also owned by one family, denying low-income earners, vulnerable groups, youths the opportunity to own their own land, as accorded to them in the Constitution of the Co-operative of Guyana, Article 26. CHPA was intentionally mismanaged being by an uncaring and scrupulous PPPC Government.
Editor, I reiterate that the purpose for the Establishment of Central Housing and Planning Authority was to “address housing needs of the working class.” I repeat my call for Mr. Croal to make available to the people of Guyana, the chronological disaggregation of lands sold/ lots distributed in each area by name and category; how many houses have been built and how many are occupied.
Member of Parliament