Guyanese can access $5M to build core homes in CH&PA Home Improvement programme

– $500,000 available to improve homes

Hundreds turned out to various locations along the East Coast of Demerara, where the Housing and Water Ministry is conducting outreaches through the Central Housing and Planning Authority (CH&PA) to sensitise the public about the Adequate Housing and Urban Accessibility Programme.
The Adequate Housing Programme includes a core home support and a home improvement subsidy component. Eligible persons can benefit from $5 million to build a core home, subject to the payment of $100,000. Others who already have property can benefit from $500,000 in building materials for their home improvement subsidy.

Minister of Housing Collin Croal (centre) and CH&PA CEO Sherwin Greaves (left) having a discussion with a resident

The CH&PA set up shop at the Mon Repos and Lusignan markets and the Good Hope Secondary School, all on the East Coast of Demerara (ECD). Housing Minister Collin Croal revealed that the event has already attracted hundreds of residents and that the application deadline has been extended to February 25 so more persons can apply.
“To date, we have been receiving positive responses from the communities but the majority has been from the West Bank of Demerara, so we want to give persons along the East Coast of Demerara who fall within the project boundary an opportunity to apply,” Minister Croal said.
“So, we’re coming to the communities to allow persons who are here, to be able to come and seek information if they would like. If they can (benefit) they can come today and also bring their documents and simply have the interview conducted so the staff would go through that screening process to examine if they are eligible.”

The Minister also listed the various income brackets that are eligible for the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) funded project. Croal further explained that the scope of the project, which previously catered for up to La Bonne Intention (LBI) on the East Coast and Diamond on the East Bank, has now been extended.
“The project caters for a particular segment of our population… the houses you see so far being constructed, that have been featured recently, you have for example young professional houses. That caters for a particular high-income bracket. Then you have the moderate-income houses, those two-bedroom elevated. You also have these core houses, which cater for those in the low-income bracket, the vulnerable. The beneficiaries must own their land. Their income bracket must be $75,000 and less.”
“There’s a boundary line in which the project is being implemented. Originally, the project was approved for up to LBI. One of the first things we did when we came into office was sought approval for the boundary lines. So we got approval for that and it’s now being implemented in 18 other communities all the way to Haslington, on the East Coast.”
Additionally, the project was supposed to end at Diamond on the East Bank of Demerara (EBD). According to Croal, they got approval for the Neighbourhood Democratic Council (NDC) boundary to be recognised, including Grove/Diamond into the project.
The Core Home Support initiative targets 150 low-income families, who will receive new 20×20 feet two-bedroom concrete houses, which will be ready to move in and be equipped with basic utilities such as water and electricity. They also have the option of extending the houses over time.
Each house will be built by contractors on behalf of the Ministry, with beneficiaries required to contribute $100,000 to the overall cost. Additionally, applicants will be required to possess ownership of the land, which must have been issued by the Ministry.
Meanwhile, the Home Improvement Subsidy initiative will be providing $500,000 worth in building materials to low-income families who are living in ramshackle structures, so that they can carry out repairs or expansion to the existing property. Importantly, residents benefitting from this initiative will not be required to repay anything.
Already, over 1500 Home Improvement Subsidies have been earmarked under the programme and over 200 persons have already approved. In fact, the Minister revealed that persons have already been making good use of the home improvement subsidies.
“In terms of the subsidies, we have already ongoing in Sophia and Parfaite Harmonie, persons who are benefitting from the programme. They have received their materials and they’re having their own contractor apply it to their houses,” Croal said.