WORK has commenced on the Housing Ministry’s pilot project to have local contractors design and build homes that low, moderate and middle income Guyanese can choose from.Minister within the Ministry of Communities, Valerie Patterson, paved the way for the building of the homes after signing contracts with some 14 contractors who will be participating in the “Housing solutions 2017 and beyond” exhibition.
The “model village” is being constructed in Plantation Perseverance on the East Bank of Demerara where the 1000 Homes Project is located. Housing officials held an informative meeting with residents already occupying homes in the location about the upcoming activity. It was related that the grand plan for the entire housing scheme is to make it into a model location for the construction of housing schemes to come.
The Housing officials emphasised that in the ministry’s bid to “develop cohesive, empowered and sustainable communities”, the Perseverance scheme will have as many amenities identifiable with a modern community. Project Manager Kenneth Dazzel told residents that as part of the efforts the community will receive asphalt roads, with speed humps for ensuring the safety, especially of children. More street lights are expected for the community, while surrounding land will be cleared from overgrowth.
Dazzel highlighted that the installation of a fire hydrant is being considered, given the community’s distant location and as a feature, ideal for other communities. The Project Manager also identified the community’s playfield and notified that the area will be cleared and leveled in time for the exhibition and for the immediate use of residents thereafter. Another feature encouraged for the model community is the creation of a community group and a community policing group. The ministry is encouraging the creation of these bodies for stronger community ties and community leaders that can be directly engaged by authorities.
In the meantime, residents were told that the finished homes in their community is some 60 percent occupied, while remedial work on existing properties is about 85 percent complete. As it stands, homes within a certain section of the community is without water; a matter currently being addressed, officials said.
On the other hand, some residents said they were ready to move into their properties but claimed that they are being told by the power company that there are no meters available. Residents were told however that for the next few months, close to 200 persons will be traversing their community to create the model village. They were advised on precautionary measures to be taken and possible activities likely to take place.
Donell Bess-Bascom, acting Director at the ministry’s Community Development Department, told Perseverance residents that their location will be replicated in other communities. “We want to create this model community to see what would be the outcome of making communities as ideal as possible.” She noted that it is not just the features of the community that the ministry is seeking to enhance. She noted that producing quality communities also aim at creating quality people and improving their quality of life at home and in their communities.
The Housing ministry had stated that home applicants must pay $300,000 for low-income land, $500,000 for moderate-income land and 700,000 for middle-income land. The contractor will sell the home to the home-owner and will maintain it up until that time. The contractors have 14 weeks to construct the home and will give weekly reports to the ministry. Ten low-income, five moderate-income, and eight middle-income houses will be built for the exhibition. The Ministry will complete six duplexes and two single units.