Two hundred and fifty (250) poor and vulnerable families are set to benefit from low-cost core homes through the Central Housing and Planning Authority (CH&PA).
According to Lelon Saul, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the CH&PA, this is part of the first component of the Adequate Housing and Urban Accessibility programme which caters to affordable and sustainable housing. Saul was at the time speaking at a community leaders sensitization session hosted by the CH&PA to inform potential beneficiaries of the programme, which is a reformulation of the Road Network Upgrade and Expansion project.
Saul said, “The CH&PA, as you are aware, is mandated by law to provide housing solutions for the working class and over the years we have offered several solutions to all categories of citizens. Notwithstanding our services, it is recognized that those with little or no affordability are often overlooked. For this reason, the Government of Guyana through the CH&PA will provide housing solutions under the affordable and sustainable housing component.”
Gladwin Charles, CH&PA’s Director for Community Development, said the construction of the homes is aimed at targeting vulnerable households including those led by single parents and those in structures considered not habitable.
Charles noted, “In our work, we find especially in the squatting areas, people living in very poor conditions so we are looking at cases like those.” He also said that people “living in poor homes where they can be exposed to elements of the weather, living in a building where the structural condition justifies the replacement of the housing unit” are all eligible for selection.
Applicants would have to meet the following criteria to benefit from the programme: must be a citizen of Guyana, Earning less than $75,000 per month, must be 18 years and older, must be the owner of a property (full payment must be made for land) and must be in receipt of either of the following: an allocation letter after making payment for the land, agreement of sale, transport or certificate of sale of land.
Charles added that successful applicants will be required to contribute $100,000 as equity (or payment) for the home. The CH&PA will undertake to provide building materials while covering the labour costs for the construction of the core home.
The total cost of the core house amounts to approximately $4M. The building will be 20×20 (400 sq feet) with two standard bedroom spaces and also spaces for the toilet and bathroom area, living room and kitchen areas. The draft plan for these core homes does not cater to a dining room.
Also catered for in the core home package are plumbing and electrical wiring to the building. Charles concluded that “CH&PA will provide beneficiaries with a building plan and it is the beneficiary’s responsibility to obtain plan approval from local authorities and pay associated costs.”