Government had paused the distribution of lands and had instead embarked on an initiative which forced Guyanese into buying pre-built houses.
This has caused the distribution of house lots to reduce significantly since the change of Government in 2015 despite the fact that the demand has not decreased. It was evident in the 2017 Annual Report of the Housing Authority which was laid in the National Assembly a few months ago.
The report shows that a total of only 1131 house lots were allocated in that year for qualified applicants. In fact, the report states that the original target of allocations for that year was merely 1000.
This does not compare favorably with the previous year, when according to the report, 2020 house lots were allocated, an improvement on its original target of 1100. This includes 625 low to moderate income house lots and 1395 middle to high-income house lots.
But both of these years’ figures pale in comparison to the number of houses lots distributed in previous years under the former People’s Progressive Party (PPP) Administration. In the CH&PA’s 2013 annual report, its programme performance assessment had indicated that 4417 house lots were allocated, just shy of the 5900 target.
Under the previous Administration, over 100,000 house lots were distributed and over 200 core houses were made available to underprivileged families, while a programme for professional groups provided 200 teachers, nurses and Policemen with fast-track access to loans for home construction.
However, as the Central Housing and Planning Authority (CH&PA) forges ahead with the construction of more core houses, this time in Sophia, Greater Georgetown, the agency has assured that corrective measures were taken to address the faults that were reported by residents at the houses at Perseverance Housing Scheme, Providence East Bank Demerara.
Chief Executive Officer of the authority, Lelon Saul said that he is certain that those concerns were addressed while noting that once they are in receipt of complains, they act immediately.
Last month, several home owners complained of faults on the core homes, some of which they were forced to fix themselves owing to the long delay.
One resident, Seeta Singh told this newspaper that her ceiling was falling apart. She explained that there seemed to be a leakage with the zinc as the ceiling is swollen and the ply board was falling off both inside and outside the home.
Another resident, who also lives in the area, complained that his window frames were falling off and he is fearful for his safety. At that time, he said his home was visited by a contractor about two weeks ago, who promised to fix the default but showed up informing him that he had “run out” of materials.
Meanwhile, Richard Coddet, another resident in the scheme, told this publication that he had been living in his home for about three years now and is still experiencing trouble because of faulty foundation and roof works. “From the inception when we got this home, we encountered a lot a lot of problems but at the end of the day, overall, we are grateful because we are happy to have a home. We had leaks, we had cracks, we still have cracks and the house seems to be sinking because of the foundation,” he explained.