Minister of Housing and Water, Collin Croal on Thursday evening disclosed that the housing deficit Guyana is facing has been further exacerbated by new demands and the booming oil and gas sector.

Minister Croal was at the time speaking at the opening ceremony of the International Building Exposition 2023 which is being held at the Guyana National Stadium, East Bank Demerara until Sunday August 27.

“In 2020 we promised to reduce the housing deficit by setting ourselves an ambitious target of allocating a total of 50,000 house lots in five years. Within that promise was a commitment to explore new and innovative housing options and provide access to finance for allottees, especially the poor and vulnerable,” the minister said.

However, he added that the housing sector has its fair share of challenges.

Minister Croal explained that inadequate buildings that are built with sub-standard materials and gaps in the supply-chain, coupled with migration and formation of new families have outpaced urban housing supplies.

According to the minister, those factors have pushed some people into outline areas and informal settlements that are vulnerable to climate risks and also contribute to environmental deviation.

Croal underscored that the already existing deficit has been further exacerbated by new housing demands, and the growth in the oil and gas industry.

“Against this backlog we quickly realised that our promise to providing residential and commercial lots had to take into consideration the gap within the sector for quality control of building materials, to finding designs that fit within the structure of subsidized housing while simultaneously ensuring that prices are kept at an affordable rate and keeping true to our low carbon development strategy,” the minister added.

As such, he stated that to date his ministry has engaged experts, investors and contractors within the public and private sectors both locally and internationally to further advance the sector in keeping with its promise to provide affordable housing.

Moreover, the minister reminded that the government is steadfast in providing subsidized housing to citizens who make an application for the allocation of a house lot and even provide commercial opportunities for investors, contractors and other stakeholders.

Further, he stated that within the next few days of the expo, his ministry will be allocating 2000 house lots. Minister Croal also invited investors to submit Expression of Interests (EOIs) for the development of President Irfaan Ali’s brainchild Silica City, which is currently in its first phase of construction.


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