Sophia housing project on schedule for November completion
The site in C Field Sophia where a community centre is being constructed
The core homes being constructed in Sophia, Greater Georgetown, by the Central Housing and Planning Authority (CH&PA) under its Adequate Housing and Urban Accessibility Programme is progressing well and is on stream to be completed by November according to Junior Communities Minister, Annette Ferguson.
The Minister in an exclusive interview with Guyana Times stated that “It’s going well…The contractors every day are doing what they are expected to get done and we have six areas. All six areas are being done by different contractors and the time of completion for the project is basically in the month of November. I had the opportunity to visit the various project sites and they have all assured me that they are within the completion timeline”.
Some US$7.5 million in upgrade works are ongoing in the community. Under the project, about 12 kilometres of roads will be upgraded to asphaltic concrete. In addition, drains will be constructed, two playfields will be upgraded, and 2000 residents will benefit from home improvement subsidies and 100 core houses will be built.
Fifty of the core houses are expected to be completed while 300 home improvement subsidies will be distributed. The remaining houses and home improvement subsidies will be done in 2020.
Home improvement subsidies and core houses will be granted to low-income households – those persons who earn $75,000 or less per month and own a plot of land within the project boundary that is also low income, meaning it cost $300,000 or less.
Subsidies will be approved if the homes that are occupied are considered inhabitable. However, if the houses are not strong enough to accommodate repairs, the owners may qualify for a core home.
Once qualified, the applicant would be required to pay $100,000 as a contribution towards the core home. The core houses are 400 square-foot flat concrete buildings that cost $4 million.
For home improvement subsidies, $500,000 worth of materials will be granted and recipients will have to provide for labour. The first Adequate Housing and Urban Accessibility Programme, which provides an opportunity for Guyanese citizens to improve their standard of living, was launched back in January 2019 at C Field Sophia.
The project became a reality as a result of the collaboration between the CH&PA and the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), which is funding the project.