Over one hundred low-income residents of La Parfaite Harmonie, West Bank Demerara, on Sunday signed contracts that will see them benefitting from the construction of core homes and home improvement subsidies.
The signing was held by the Central Housing & Planning Authority (CH&PA) at the Parfaite Harmonie Primary School. Hon. Collin D Croal, Minister of Housing and Water, Hon. Susan Rodrigues, Minister within The Ministry of Housing & Water, CEO of CH&PA, Mr. Sherwyn Greaves and Regional Vice Chairman, Mr. Omesh Satyanand were present at the exercise.
Minister Croal, in his address, stated that the home improvement subsidies and core homes, which fall under the Adequate Housing and Urban Accessibility Programme (AHUAP), are designed to elevate the living standards of vulnerable groups.
“Our mission at the Ministry of Housing and Water is to increase homeownership across the country and with low-income housing being the highest demand in our system, such programmes are important to our mandate,” Minister Croal stated.
The Minister also spoke to some of the Ministry’s ongoing development programs in the region including the drilling of new wells, water service connections and road upgrades. Meanwhile, Minister Rodrigues in her remarks elaborated that AHUAP not only will help to improve housing conditions but also provide employment opportunities.
“Job creation and stimulation of the local economy is integrally part of this program, these are the soft issues that affect people’s lives and that we’re working on addressing through our housing drive,” said Minister Rodrigues.
Sunday’s proceeding follows the inking of $163 million in contracts between CH&PA and the contractors executing the projects. Twenty five (25) core homes will be built through this phase of the programme and one hundred and eighteen (118) home improvement subsidies granted.
The core homes will be no less than 330 square feet single family homes with concrete blocks for the outer walls and floors, basic doors, windows, electrical wiring and water connections. The homes are designed to meet basic standards that a family can move into and affordably expand over time. On the other hand, the home improvement subsidies will be $500,000 granted in the form of building materials for repairs to walls, floors, electrical works and sanitation improvements, among others.
AHUAP is an Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) funded programme. The programme previously encompassed communities from Georgetown to Grove on the East Bank of Demerara, up to La Bonne Intention on the East Coast of Demerara and Westminster, Onderneeming, Recht-Door-Zee, Lust en Rust, and Parfaite Harmonie Phase II on the West Bank of Demerara. It has been recently expanded to include nineteen communities on the East Coast of Demerara, stretching the boundary to Victoria. Similar works will commence in these areas, as the programme continues.