“Dream Realised”: Response from Lindeners “overwhelming” – Rodrigues

…says construction of 1000 homes’ to commence in weeks

The Housing Ministry on Wednesday wrapped up its “Dream Realised” housing drive in Linden, Region 10 (Upper Demerara-Berbice) with the allocation of some 400 house lots and 144 land titles and transports to persons.
Speaking with this publication at the event on Wednesday, Minister within the Housing and Water Ministry, Susan Rodrigues, said the response from Lindeners over the two-day period has been “overwhelming”.
“The response from Linden has been overwhelming…We know that we’re operating in a COVID-19 pandemic, and what we did was: the 400 offers that we made, we split it up over two days, so that we could have crowd control, so that we can still operate within the guidelines”, the Minister stated.
She noted that owing to the increased demand for land within the region, persons made good use of the opportunity of having both Ministers as well as staff from the Central Housing and Planning Authority (CH&PA).
“There is a huge demand for house lots in Linden, and therefore people are just coming to us. They finally have the opportunity to meet with both Ministers. We’re here all day, we don’t want to stop anybody from coming. We’re trying as best as we could to control the crowd, but the response…has been overwhelming,” the Minister said.

1000 homes initiative
Rodrigues reminded that in addition to the exercise, land has already been cleared to facilitate construction of some 40 homes aimed at young professionals. These will be constructed along a main access road at Amelia’s Ward, Linden under the 1000 Homes Initiative previously announced by President Irfaan Ali.
“So we had already (gone) to tender, and the contract for the land clearing was already awarded, and the land clearing is complete. So, the next step is for the construction of the houses to start. We did receive some bids for that process, and we’re at the evaluation stage; and pretty soon, in a matter of a couple of weeks, we’ll be commencing construction”, the Minister said.
She noted that this is only the beginning for Linden, as she reassured that even those who were not called to attend the event over the two-day period, their applications would be honoured. The Minister highlighted that residents also brought a number of issues to the fore, which the Ministry continues to work to address.
“Outside of the queries, people who have applications beyond the period that we’re trying to clear – that’s beyond the 2010 period – people who have queries, who have their applications, are following up on their applications… We have people who are raising issues about squatting and whether they would be regularised; so we’re addressing those. Apart from that, there are some discrepancies with titles; people have titles for land that they’re not occupying, and persons who have structures on lands that somebody else have a title to. So, we’re trying to work out all of these…”, Rodrigues said.

Vaccination booth
She pointed out that all of the services offered by the Ministry were taken to the location over the course of the two days, and persons were able to make and update applications, conduct land interviews, and also interact with the Legal Department.
Unvaccinated persons also benefited from a vaccination booth which was set up in the compound.
On Tuesday, Rodrigues pointed out that the Government has allocated more house lots within the region over the two-day period than what the previous administration had allocated over the period of five years in office.
“Linden, as you heard, is important just like every other region. As we continue to execute our plans in the housing and water sector, region by region…Region 10 is no exception. Region 10 will not be left behind…Ministers are accessible, Ministers are visible, and we are here to execute our mandate”, the Minister stated.

Potable water
She noted that Government has addressed the issue of potable water at Moblissa, where there was an abandoned water project dating back to 2017.
“We’ve rehabilitated and made functional the well in Moblissa. We’ve completed that project. A few weeks ago, when we went back to the Parliament for the supplementary, we included the drilling of a brand new well for Moblissa, to be completed in 2021”, the Minister said.
She added that after previously meeting with squatters at Amelia’s Ward, who had pleaded for intervention, housing structures were included in inventory to be regularised, noting that Government officials are always on the ground and governing through consultations.
Rodrigues also disclosed that there will be the upgrading of a water supply system at Coomacka, which will benefit over 1000 residents.
“We want to see, and we want to ensure the development of Region 10, and we want to demonstrate to you that we mean that, and that we will execute all of the commitments we made in our manifesto. And so the people of Linden have a choice to make: work with your Government or resist development…Government is here for you. We are a Government for all Guyanese. We’ve not only been saying that, but we have been demonstrating that through the work that we’re doing; and so we are here extending a hand to you. Let’s do this together,” she urged.
Further, she made a promise to address all of the house lots’ allocation backlog within the region.
“Everyone who has an outstanding application in Region 10 will receive their house lot allocation before our first term in office, in keeping with our mandate”, the Minister reiterated. (G13)