CH&PA gets innovative –with ‘Jubilee’ payment plan

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Minister within the Ministry of Communities with responsibility for Housing Valerie Adams Patterson

By Svetlana Marshall

THE Central Housing and Planning Authority (CH&PA) is slashing 25% off the initial cost of house lots, but applicants must have first paid down 50% by May 1.Minister within the Ministry of Communities, with responsibility for Housing, Ms Valerie Adams-Patterson, made this disclosure yesterday. She said that the initiative, called the CH&PA 50/50 Payment Plan, is all part and parcel of a programme of activities the Ministry has planned for the 50th Independence Anniversary celebration.

She explained that once 50% of the initial cost of the house lot is paid by May 1, then 50% of the remainder would be deducted by the Housing Authority, on condition that the applicant completes payment by May 31.

As the minister further explained, “If you have an allocation, a house lot for $1M, and by May 1 you would have completed paying $500,000, which is 50%, you will have a 50% reduction on the balance. So you will have a discount of $250,000. I think that you cannot want anything better than that.”

She, however, cautioned that while the initiative is in keeping with the government’s intention of providing Guyanese with affordable house lots, this “Jubilee offer” does not apply to applicants whose house lots cost in excess of $3M; and it is not applicable to persons who have lots in the remigrant, industrial and commercial zones.

HOME IMPROVEMENT BONUS
But all is not lost, as, in addition to the 50/50 Payment Plan, CH&PA will be giving 50 persons from across Guyana the sum of $300,000 each, so they could make some improvements to their homes. However, there is a slight catch in this initiative.
According to Minister Patterson, “It is a subsidy, and you must be living in one of our schemes to qualify.” What this means, the minister said, is that the subsidy is not being provided for the purchase of household articles, but rather to execute repairs.

She expanded on her explanation by stating that in Regions One (Barima-Waini), Two (Pomeroon-Supenaam), Five (Mahaica-Berbice), Seven (Cuyuni-Mazaruni) and Nine (Upper Takutu-Upper Essequibo), for instance, four persons will receive the subsidy in each region; while in Region Three (Essequibo Islands-West Demerara), six persons will receive.

“In Region 4,” she said, “we will be giving 14 persons; and that will be spread within the three main areas: East Bank, Central Georgetown, and along the East Coast…”

In Regions Six (East Berbice-Corentyne) and 10 (Upper Demerara-Berbice), five persons will be selected from each region.

MORE GOOD NEWS
But the good news does not end there, as, according to the minister, ‘Housing Solution’ is another initiative that will be rolled out ahead of the May 26 Independence Celebrations.

From July 24 to 31, CH&PA will launch its first ever ‘Housing Solution’ exhibition at the Perseverance Housing Scheme on the East Bank of Demerara. This will be done under the theme “Housing Solution 2016 and beyond”.

Currently, interested home developers are being encouraged to submit expressions of interest. “We are asking each home developer to do two sample houses: One low-cost and a middle-income house,” Minister Patterson disclosed.

At the entrance of the exhibition site, patrons will be given questionnaires, which will be used as a yardstick to determine the type of houses required by citizens in the low- and middle-income categories.

Additionally, Minister Patterson said, the exhibition will provide land owners with the opportunity to source home developers for the construction of their homes.