Homeownership transcends the physical realm

Dear Editor,
What a tremendous achievement! It is that the Government has thus far distributed some 18,000 house lots since coming into office, and it is now like ‘a given’ that the PPP/C (People’s Progressive Party/Civic) Administration will deliver their promised 20,000 house lots by year-end. I say this, as again the robust housing plan of the Government unfolded with another episode, giving some 700 more house lots to residents of Region Five (Mahaica-Berbice). The house lots were allocated during the second “Dream Realised” housing drive in the region for the year. As we can remember, the first phase was held earlier in the year, and this saw at least 400 persons receiving house lots.
Readers, this is huge, as we all know that on the socio-psychological level, a good home provides protection. Children are less at risk of violence and sexual abuse. They are also less likely to be forced into child labour, married off at a young age, or forcibly recruited by stealthy groups and persons, to be exploited. Then a home ensures that displaced people have better access to humanitarian aid. So, what is happening is that the housing sector is pre-empting these evils from encroaching society.
According to the Minister within the Ministry of Housing and Water, Susan Rodrigues, “… the land that is (currently) being developed was acquired by the Ministry back in May 2021 … (and just) several months later, we (the Government) are here to allocate 700 house lots to you the residents” Simply put, this is testimony “… to the expediency in which we (the Government) are working; this demonstrates the commitment of the Ministry to reaching its target of distributing 50,000 house lots by 2025.”
Another factor here is that housing is a basis for taxation – often Local Government taxation, and this is a significant contributor to the fiscal health of Local Governments and their capacity to deliver basic urban services. Due to its size, the housing sector has a major impact on any country’s macroeconomy. Noting what has been happening, as far as housing in Guyana is concerned, great dividends, of a perpetual nature, will eventually descend on the economy. I need to add, that the actual building of these houses, with their relevant amenities, is also a boost to the workforce and the sale of building materials.
Yes, monies are being spent (over $800 million on new infrastructure, upgrading existing housing schemes in Experiment, upgrading roads in Bath, and monies to develop the new site for the hospital etc). But the returns will be more than matching the investment, and long-lasting as well.
Editor, the conception of a ‘house as a home’ being a place of comfort and security is global. This established view of shelter reinforces the idea that many other qualities derive from the place we call home. In fact, the home has come to symbolise family, stability, and wealth. As the largest single investment for most families and the driver of demand in enormous sectors of the economy, housing has therefore plays a huge role in the economies of many nations. It is nothing to be taken lightly.
On the contrary, being without homes or finding them unaffordable is stressful and creates negative tolls on people’s mental health. 33 per cent say housing costs cause stress and depression in their family, with 25 per cent being kept awake at night by the stress of paying their rent or mortgage. Building a better life begins with a safe environment to call home.
All in all, the Government deserves to be lauded.

Yours truly,
H Singh