The first fifty-eight landowners in Region Nine received their Steel and Cement Housing Subsidy vouchers from the Ministry of Housing and Water-Central Housing and Planning Authority on Saturday.
Minister of Housing and Water, Hon. Collin Croal and Permanent Secretary, Mr. Andre Ally led the distribution of the vouchers at the Regional Housing Office in Lethem. Mayor of Lethem, His Worship John Macedo and Deputy Mayor, ms. Debra King also attended.
The Steel and Cement Housing Subsidy Programme is the brainchild of His Excellency, Dr. Mohamed Irfaan Ali, to provide support for Guyanese seeking to construct their own homes, whether on government or private lands. Persons building homes estimated at $6 million and below will receive steel and one sling of cement; while homebuilders with estimates above $6 million to $25 million will receive two slings of cement.
Minister Croal noted that the programme will provide a number of economic spin-offs in the region. The first distribution will see over $13 million being directly invested. It will also promote occupancy within housing schemes and boost homeownership in the hinterland.
Beneficiary, Mr. Ekema Glenn applauded the government for the initiative, as he said the voucher places him in a better position to construct his home.
“Currently, I’m living with family and I’m renting. Renting can be very burdensome so this will give us a great boost in starting my home,” Mr. Glenn said.
Ms. Beverly Rodrigues, another beneficiary who stated that she is living with her family, said that the voucher presents a life changing opportunity.
Ms. Rodrigues expressed, “without this I wouldn’t have start building my house. I’m so overwhelmed that I get this”.
Suppliers in Region Nine thus far are R&R Hardware, Fabra Enterprise, M&U General Store, Nicholson Trading, Anil’s Shop and Sucil Kissoon. All suppliers are required to sell the building materials at the pre-determined cost set by the Ministry.