-as housing ministry resumes development project
Approximately thirty-seven (37) low-income families will soon be allocated house lots in the Balthyock housing scheme, Region Five (Mahaica-Berbice), through the Ministry of Housing and Water – Central Housing and Planning Authority (CH&PA).
The announcement was made by the Honorable Susan Rodrigues, Minister within the Ministry of Housing and Water, as she met with the residents during an outreach on Friday.
The scheme, which is located aback the Blairmont Sugar Estate, was developed with the intention of relocating informal settlers from the sea defense reserve under the agency’s relocation and regularization programme. Some forty five households were in occupation of the area and a portion of the block. In 2012, seven households were relocated from the reserve and households within the block were regularized. However, another portion of the area comprising of thirty-seven (37) lots was not allocated due to the incompletion of infrastructure works.
It was while at an outreach in Blairmont in May, that the Minister was made aware of the situation by residents. CH&PA then commenced an inventory of the area to restart the programme.
“There are about fifteen households who are informal settlers or what we know as squatters, still residing on the reserve who will be relocated here in the scheme,” the Minister stated.
She noted that this will significantly improve the lives of the informal settlers, as they will now have reliable access to potable water, electricity and other amenities, as well as, Certificates of Title/Transports for the first time.
Speaking to the allocation of the remaining twenty-two lots, she added, “priority will be given to residents in the area, who have existing applications in our system to be allocated.”
A $20 million contract has been awarded to Shereaz Bacchus General Contractors for the execution of the project, which will include land clearing and basic infrastructure works. These works will begin immediately and within two weeks the Minister will revisit the region to allocate the house lots to the residents.
Permanent Secretary of the Ministry, Mr. Andre Ally, who accompanied the Minister, in his remarks noted that Region Five, in general is in-line for major housing and water development, with the investment of hundreds of millions of dollars. In this regard, he highlighted a $456 million housing project in Experiment, which will see land and drainage clearing, construction of access roads and bridges for allottees to begin occupation. The Ministry is also undertaking projects in Number 79, Number 75 and several other areas in the region.
Along with Minister Rodrigues were also Member of Parliament, Mr. Faizal Jaferally, Regional Vice-chairman, Mr. Rion Peters, CH&PA Director of Communnity Development, Mr. Gladwin Charles, Supervisor of Works, Mr. Mohamed Khan and other technical personnel.
In her visit, the Minister was also able to deliver on a promise in Goed Faith, where twenty (20) households are now accessing potable water for the first time, also following her outreach in May, 2021.
Photos: Sydel Thomas, CHPA PR Dept.