GOVERNMENT is exploring all opportunities which will provide house lots and homes in communities with proper roads, drainage, water, electricity, street lights, recreational and shopping centres that will make Guyana the envy of the Caribbean and South America.
This is according to Minister within the Housing Ministry, Susan Rodrigues, during her address at the Providence Stadium where the Housing Ministry commenced a two-day, “Dream Realised Housing Drive 2020,” on Friday.
The aim of the government is to transform the housing landscape of Guyana and Minister Rodrigues said this must happen with pace.
“With the influx of foreign investors we must be willing as a nation to embrace the technological advances in the construction sector which will provide opportunities for training and further expedite the construction of homes, thereby allowing us to fulfill our manifesto promise of 50,000 lots,” Minister Rodrigues said.
Adding that government has already signalled interest in ensuring the requisite policy measures are put in place to encourage home ownership, she said this also includes increasing the ceiling for mortgage interest relief from $15M to $30M and moving the low-income threshold for loans from $8M to $10M.
This, Rodrigues said, allows greater access to financial resources as government alone cannot deliver such a transformational agenda, and therefore, must meaningfully engage the private sector and private partners.
Noting that some of those partners are in the form of the banks and insurance companies, among others, Minister Rodrigues said the private sector input will allow government to make that transformation a reality.
As such, she noted this will help to deliver on commitments even more quickly because people have waited long enough and they have elected a government whom they trust to manage their future and the resources of the country.
“As the Minister within the Ministry of Housing and Water, I wish to take this opportunity to personally thank His Excellency for gracing us with his presence and for joining us in celebrating and highlighting the accomplishment of the persons who will be receiving their land titles and transports today,” she said.
One of the biggest achievements in a person’s life is home ownership, she said.
“It brings with it a sense of pride, fulfilment and security. It opens the door to endless opportunities, such as access to lending institutions, climbing the social ladder, and leaving an inheritance for your children, thereby providing the next generation with a stepping stone on which to begin their own lives,” she said.
Under the leadership of President Ali, Minister Rodrigues said the housing sector will be restored to the place it once enjoyed, and will be steered to move beyond allocation of house lots but will focus mainly on encouraging, promoting and facilitating home ownership and community building.
“We are determined to provide every Guyanese family with a decent home, in a safe, secure and proper neighbourhood; not as squatters or tenants, but as responsible and proud owners with titles that banks and other lending institutions will regard as good security,” Minister Rodrigues noted.
The housing development programme is designed to implement national housing and settlement policies through an efficient, well-planned, coordinated and structured framework, in order to realise the development of sustainable, affordable and modern settlements.
Minister Rodrigues said government will deliver serviced lots through a comprehensive and coordinated approach among all of the agencies involved in order for Guyanese of all income brackets to enjoy a comfortable lifestyle.
Rodrigues said Guyana is on the cusp of a great transformation and government will make it possible for the country to benefit from that development, and for Guyanese of all walks of life to experience a significant elevation in their standard of living.
“I wish to congratulate the title and transport recipients. As you walk across this stage a little later to receive your title, you should be proud of yourselves, appreciating your own efforts and sacrifices to get to this point, and realising the significance of your achievement,” the junior housing minister added.
She wished the recipients a great future and assured them that the Housing Ministry’s engagement would not end here, but will continue as citizens pursue the next step in owning a home.