With a backlog of 57,000 applications for house lots, President Dr. Irfaan Ali has stated that it will cost $170 Billion to realise some 43,000 lots and an additional $400 Billion to open new lands and build highways in order to get access to those lands.
President Ali made this known during the featured address at the opening ceremony at the International Building Exposition 2023, which was held on Thursday evening at the Guyana National Stadium, East Bank Demerara.
The president explained that although his government has made monumental gains in the housing sector, there are still many challenges. The main issue he highlighted was that there are 57,000 applications in the system that must be processed.
Explaining how the government plans to address the issue, President Ali stated that over the next three years the government will allocate 20,000 house lots in Regions Four, 14,000 in Region Three, 4000 in Region Six, and 1000 lots in Regions Two, Five, Seven, Nine and 10. Also, a commitment was made to build 500 homes in the hinterlands and allocate 250 lots in Region One.
To this end, President Ali said, “Now what will it take financially to achieve this when we add up the total number of lots that we will deliver based on these numbers. It comes up to 43,000, still more than 14,000 short of what is in the system.”
He noted that it would require the government going into new areas, which comes with new challenges. “To get to 43,000 house lots it will cost us an investment of $170 Billion (US$825M) dollars,” President Ali said.
Moreover, the President underscored, “There is a bigger story, in order for us to get to the new lands, we have to build highways, and just to get to the lands that will allow us to build the infrastructure for the 43,000 house lots we will have to develop 200 kilometers of new four-lane highways.” This he said will cost about $400 Billion (US$500 Million).
To help citizens understand the size of the investment needed, President Ali stated that the sum needed to open up the new land is more than the entire capital budget for 2023, not including the supplementary allocations.
Furthermore, President Ali disclosed that currently there are about 175 proposals for industrial lots, 416 proposals for commercial lots. “The reality is that we do not have enough land available in the system now to service even 50% of the demand for industrial and commercial land,” he noted.