MoU signed to construct houses for Lombard St squatters
Minister Annette Ferguson oversees the signing of the MoU between the CH&PA and FTTP for the construction of homes for 20 families.
Minister Annette Ferguson oversees the signing of the MoU between the CH&PA and FTTP for the construction of homes for 20 families.

TWENTY families who were relocated from Lombard and Broad streets, Charlestown in 2017, will soon move into their own homes with the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the Central Housing and Planning Authority (CH&PA) and Food For The Poor (FTTP) Guyana Incorporated.

The document was signed on Monday at the CHPA’s Brickdam head office by Chief Executive Officer for FFTP, Kent Vincent and Central Housing and Planning Authority (CH&PA) Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Leon Saul. The families will be moved to Prospect Housing Scheme, East Bank Demerara.

Minister in the Ministry of Communities, with responsibility for Housing, Annette Ferguson, said the MoU will address the housing needs of those persons who were asked to relocate from Broad and Lombard streets, Georgetown, in July, 2017. “I have been advised these residents have been living in that area for approximately 30 years, and they were forced to remove as a result of a court action, and with that, the government intervened and a commitment was made to ensure that these residents are indeed relocated,” Minister Ferguson said.

She explained that the project advances President David Granger’s housing agenda for eradicating homelessness. She said, too, the proposed project demonstrates what can be achieved when there is cooperation. “It also restores dignity to families who were left to suffer indignity for over 30 years. It gives hope to other families,” the Housing Minister said.

CEO of the Housing Authority, Leon Saul, said the mandate of the authority is to provide housing for the working class since housing is a fundamental right. “We at CH&PA are compelled to provide housing for the people of Guyana and so when it was brought to our attention the plight of the persons at Broad Street, who are living under horrible conditions, we decided to address the issue and approached FTTP Guyana, and a willing collaboration was there to provide housing for these folks at Broad Street,” Saul said. For the first phase, Saul said FTTP will be providing for 41 per cent of the cost and CH&PA will provide the remainder.

“For the units that will be constructed, FFTP will be providing $12.3M and CH&PA $19M and, of course, the beneficiaries will be making a contribution in terms of ‘sweat’ because we believe that they should contribute; additionally, they will be paying for the processing of the building plans at the NDC,” the CEO said.

Chief Executive Officer for FFTP, Kent Vincent, said the organisation is committed to providing assistance to those who are unable to access housing finance from commercial banks and other lending institutions. Adding that the FFTP has given priority to families with young school- aged children, Vincent said, to date, the organisation has built 3900 housing units across Guyana.

He said the 20 persons were chosen and allocated land in Prospect, EBD, and construction is expected to commence in a few weeks when the funds become available. The CEO said that the timeframe for construction will be approximately four months. “The other 50 homes that we expect to partner with the Ministry to construct, is at a later date to be determined, but I am hopeful that it will be sometime very soon… this for us is the first collaboration of this nature and we do not expect it to be the last,” Vincent said.

He said FFTP will be funding 41 per cent of the cost of the homes and for each parcel of land, FFTP will be financing the cost along with the conveyance fee for the transports. “We are making it very easy for the Broad Street residents,” the FTTP CEO said.

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