OVER 150 Persons With Disabilities (PWD) were able to complete or begin the process towards owning a house lot following a public day hosted by junior Communities Minister, Valerie Adams-Yearwood and team on Thursday.
The hall of the Guyana Society for the Blind on High Street, Georgetown was filled to capacity during the informative meeting.
The process was facilitated by officials from the ministry and the Central Housing and Planning Authority (CH&PA), Commissioner on the National Commission on Disability (NCD) Ganesh Singh and Chairman of the Guyana Council of Organisations for PWDs, Cecil Morris.
Singh told the attendants that the meeting follows an engagement with Minister Adams-Yearwood some two weeks ago. At that meeting, it was highlighted that a number of PWDs had the opportunity to have a house lot or house of their own.
“I said to them, I am aware that many of your members have disabilities and it may be difficult for them to come to the office at Brickdam, so I am going to come to you and I am going to bring my staff and we’re going to come here and serve you, because we are servants of the people,” the minister said.
A few years ago, Adams-Yearwood was a member of the Society For the Blind and Chairperson of the Regional Democratic Council (RDC) Committee for Welfare for 11 years in Region 10.
“So, I have been associated with many organisations and many people who I consider disadvantaged because, for some reason or the other, you’re never placed on the front burner of any activities. Sometimes it appears as though you’re forgotten people, so, today you’re on the front burner,” Adams-Yearwood said.
Most of the persons present were interested in low-income house lots which lie between the prices of $92,000 to about $150,000 and the minister provided free application forms for those applying for the very first time.
The lots available are at Mon Repos and Good Hope, East Coast Demerara while before year-end, spots will be made available at Cummings Lodge, Annandale and Foulis.
Adams-Yearwood explained that just a few days ago, the ministry was in a position to provide house lots at Catherina, Cornelia Ida and Edinburgh, West Coast Demerara.
As such, another location is being looked at and is expected to be made available by next week after which sub-division and allocation will take place.
The minister made it clear that there are no house lots available in Georgetown and no low-income house lots on the East Bank of Demerara.
However, she encouraged persons to take advantage of the many lots in Region Three.
“While they are saying to me that they have difficulties with getting to and fro because of the traffic situation on the harbour bridge, your government is going to be building a spanking new state-of-the-art bridge in a short while from now and eliminate all the traffic congestion.”
PWDs applying for the first time were able to hand in their applications, were interviewed on the spot while those who brought their documents were issued a letter acknowledging that they have applied and now qualify for a house lot.
Following her remarks, many individuals thanked Adams-Yearwood for the special focus on PWDs.
“As persons with disabilities, we are really grateful for the attention and the kind of opportunity that we have been afforded here. We have never experienced this before; it’s the first of its kind. We’ve had visits from ministers before, but not from this magnitude,” Morris said.
“Having a house/a house lot gives you a sense of independence. As a person with disability, if you have a house lot and you could probably construct a house on it or have somebody do it for you, it gives you that sense of ownership. It tells you that as a person with disability, you can still achieve if you only work towards your goals.”