AS the government moves to achieve its mandate of providing affordable homes to eligible citizens across the country, the Ministry of Housing and Water on Saturday hosted a series of outreaches on the East Coast of Demerara for its Core Home Support and Home Improvement Subsidies under the Adequate Housing and Urban Accessibility Programme (AHUAP).
Ministers of Housing Colin Croal and Susan Rodrigues and Chief Executive Officer of the Central Housing and Planning Authority (CH&PA), Sherwyn Greaves, were stationed at the Mon Repos Market Tarmac, Lusignan Market Tarmac, and Good Hope Secondary School until 15:00hrs to facilitate applications and on-the-spot interviews for Core Home Support and Home Improvement Subsidies
Minister Coral disclosed that the initiative is intended to target the poor and vulnerable and to reduce the incidence of housing instability which poses a significant challenge in communities across the country.
He noted that a major aspect of the project is that it allows persons who earn monthly incomes of less than $75,000 the opportunity to qualify for homeownership.
Minister Croal noted that this directly correlates with the government’s mission to provide affordable housing.
“As a government, we are continuing to ensure that we implement programmes that cater to all segments of our population or categories of pending applicants, so you’ll understand when we talk about a community or a wholesome community, we also talk about a government that caters for all of its people.”
The outreach targeted residents in Lusignan Block XXI; Lusignan Parcel 99 (Binkey Alley); Lusignan Tract ‘A’ (Lusignan Pasture); Area B Lusignan (Grassfield); Good Hope Area X; Good Hope Tract A (Phase 1); Block 7 Plantation Mon Repos (D’ Jango Town); and Mon Repos (Block 8).
The outreach comes as the ministry extended the deadline for application from its initial February 07, 2022 deadline to February 25, 2022, in a bid to ensure all eligible persons were given the chance to apply.
Minister Croal noted the outreach acted as a one-stop shop for potential beneficiaries of the initiative, noting that persons could not just bring in their documents, but would also be informed about the necessary documentation needed and how they could benefit from the programme.
“The persons allying here today, once they’re prequalified it goes as part of the master list for which we would have to evaluate it. So, persons are coming here as a one-stop shop to be able to have their documents be dealt with and have all of the necessary information provided, because sometimes they’re not adequately equipped with the necessary information, so that they can benefit, or if they can prequalify.”
The project boundary for AHUAP includes Westminster, Onderneeming, Lust-En-Rust, Recht door Zee and Parfaite Harmonie Phase 2, on the West Bank Demerara, Region Three; In Region Four, it spans Georgetown to Grove on the East Bank of Demerara and up to La Bonne Intention on the East Coast of Demerara, as well as nineteen (19) other East Coast villages.
In 2021, the government had budgeted for the two aspects of the project US$10M: US$5M for the home improvement subsidies and US$5M for core home support.
Through the programme, low-income earning Guyanese living in vulnerable households or poor structures that are not habitable can benefit from a 20ft x20ft concrete core home, which can be expanded over time or up to $500,000 in materials with the Home Improvement Subsidy.
The home improvement subsidies will be a $500,000 grant in the form of construction materials for repairs to walls, floors, electrical works, sanitation improvements, and other non-cosmetic improvements that are consistent with the programme’s objectives.
in November, CH&PA Chief Executive Officer Sherwyn Greaves noted that some 2,000 Home Improvement Subsidies have been earmarked under the programme. During the first tranche of the programme, 236 subsidies have been approved for 118 residents in Sophia, Georgetown, and 118 La Parfaite Harmonie residents, leaving room for an additional 1,764 eligible applicants to now benefit.