Minister within the Ministry of Communities with responsibility for Housing, Valerie Yearwood’s husband, Godfrey Yearwood, is the one who was “handed” the contract to build the Central Housing and Planning Authority (CH&PA) office in Linden which, since its May 2017 opening, has undergone several rounds of repairs due to defects.
Guyana Standard was told that while Adams-Yearwood was not married to her now husband at the time when the office was completed, she did tie the knot a mere three months later.
Sources at CH&PA told Guyana Standard that the “wall had to be repaired twice.” But the repairs seem to be not the worst part.
This news outlet understands that the minister’s husband never bid for the contract.
“The [CH&PA] Board knew nothing about it. The building of an office in Linden was never even discussed at the board level before he was handed the contract,” one source said.
Guyana Standard was told, “We eventually learned that an office was being built in Linden. Then we heard that the minister will be commissioning the office.”
In May 2017, it was publicly reported that CH&PA opened the new building in Crabwood Street, Linden, at a cost of $6.4M.
A source explained that the cost for the building was below’s CH&PA threshold, thereby removing the need to go to the National Procurement & Tender Administration Board (NPTAB).
Minister Adams-Yearwood was reported as saying that Linden was looking forward to a new building for a long time. It took her becoming a minister to achieve that feat, she said.
Further, the minister had said that, during her consultations in Region Ten, particularly Linden, she was stymied to some extent because, after taking office in January 2016, the space at the old building was so cramped she could not meet all the people.
“We had outgrown that space so we had to move on; it is bigger and better. I was amazed to see the girls fetching water to flush the toilet. Rain fell and they had to have a bucket to catch water. That is not the image of CH&PA.”
She told the small gathering that she will upgrade all the regional offices of CH&PA but, “Charity begins at home so Linden first.”