Core Home Support and Home Improvement Subsidy app launched
The Central Housing and Planning Authority (CH&PA), under the purview of the Housing and Water Ministry, on Wednesday launched the Core Home Support and Home Improvement Subsidy mobile app to allow persons to easily monitor the status of their applications.
Now available on Google Play Store and Apple store, the app gives applicants access to real-time updates on when they would receive the keys to their core homes or materials to enhance their homes. Designed by local technology company V75 Inc., this new addition to the home ownership process includes a central database with all key information, as well as a staff portal through which relevant personnel can manage applications.
V75 Inc. Director and Development Officer, Asa Brouet, further highlighted the app’s offerings during its launch at the Arthur Chung Convention Centre (ACCC).
“There is a central repository for quick, easy, secure access to your applicant data. Timely notifications your way. So here, you can access your information at any time. You don’t need to take time off your busy schedule in order to just view where your application is,” Brouet said.
“We then have schedule management for visitation. You will know immediately when your next visit is, what is needed, and be able to track whether you need to talk with your contractors or you need to sign a document. That will all be available for you on your application, and many more [aspects],” Brouet said.
Minister within the Housing Ministry, Susan Rodrigues, noted that the app, for one, seeks to reduce the anxiety, particularly experienced by older beneficiaries, by reassuring them that their application is being continuously addressed.
It further forms part of the Ministry’s larger plan to enhance the home ownership process through increased digitisation.
“It represents another installment of the move by our Government towards e-governance, so transferring towards digitisation and ensuring that we use every technology available to us to deliver efficient service to the people of our country,” Rodrigues said.
“It also improves transparency and accountability, so you have full access to your information. Everything has been uploaded to a system that you can check and verify.” Rodrigues added.
This Core Home Support initiative forms part of the Inter-American Development Bank-funded Adequate and Affordable Housing and Urban Accessibility Programme (AHUAP), which aims to help low-income vulnerable Guyanese in poor living conditions.
The other aspect is the Home Improvement Subsidy which enables persons in the target boundaries to receive up to $500,000 in materials to upgrade their homes. The boundary currently encompasses the La Parfaite Harmonie Housing Development in Region Three; Georgetown to Grove on the East Bank of Demerara in Region Four; and Georgetown to La Bonne Intention and nineteen other select communities on the East Coast of Demerara in Region Four.
Thus far, the Ministry has built 73 core homes and disbursed just under 500 home improvement subsidies.
IDB Resident Representative Lorena Solórzano Salazar reaffirmed the IDB’s continuous support towards not just aiding with the physical infrastructure of these homes, but also increasing the sustainability of the home ownership process.
“This adds a new chapter to that relationship. It plays a crucial role in crossing from some processes that are manual to using technology and the local capacity that we have in the country related to the digital side in management and implementation,” Salazar said.
During Wednesday’s launch, five families were also presented the keys to their new core homes, after being notified via the app that the keys were available; while another six beneficiaries for the Home Improvement Subsidy were notified that delivery of construction materials is slated for today.