Five low-income families from Onderneeming and Lust-en-Rust, Region Three, experienced a positive transformation on Tuesday, as they were presented the keys to new core homes by Minister of Housing and Water, Hon. Collin Croal.
Under the umbrella of the Adequate Housing and Urban Accessibility Programme (AHUAP), the Core Home initiative is set to elevate the living conditions of vulnerable families. The keys were handed over to Mr. Enduko Glenmore (Lot 2194, Onderneeming), Ms. Nicola Thompson (Lot 2059, Onderneeming), Condica Eastman (Lot 2041, Onderneeming), Ms. Tricia DaSivia (Lot 4026, Lust-en-Rust), and Mr. Desmond Cheong (Lot 172, Onderneeming). In addition to receiving the keys to their new homes, beneficiaries also received their Certificates of Inspection.
Minister Croal stated that approximately thirty (30) homes were previously delivered to residents in Region Three, with another set currently in the construction phase. He emphasized the significant positive impact these homes have on the lives of the beneficiaries.
Addressing the importance of the initiative, Minister Croal remarked, “This activity is simple but to the beneficiaries, it means a lot. This is about bringing upliftment to our citizens; bringing upliftment to families and to provide a better environment so we can all be happy”.
The Minister also disclosed that nearly $900 million has been expended for infrastructure development in the West Bank Demerara area, covering street and streetlight installations, as well as drainage networks. Additionally, recreational facilities are part of the ongoing project, with efforts underway to identify an area in Region Three suitable for such a facility.
Beneficiary, Mr. Enduko Glenmore, revealed that despite owning his land for a decade, circumstances prevented him from building a proper home. Consequently, he resorted to a makeshift shack in his yard.
“We could have survived in this little thing and we’re much more better in this one,” he remarked, indicating the structure he formerly occupied and then pointing towards the new core home on his property. Mr. Glenmore shared that approximately two other family members would be joining him in the new residence, expressing his joy at the prospect of expanding the home in the future. He also expressed his gratitude to the Housing Ministry and the Dr. Irfaan Ali-led Government.
Another beneficiary, Ms. Nicola Thompson recounted her struggle with mortgage applications, facing rejections from several banks due to her salary as a merchandiser for a private company. After finally securing approval from one bank, she received a call from CH&PA notifying her of eligibility for the core home.
“I was so happy,” she said, recalling the moment she received the call. The mother of two continued, “I have no mortgage to pay, no debts to leave for my children. I am happy that I am comfortable and [the] government provided me with a home that my children can live in”.
Each of these homes boasts two (2) bedrooms, along with kitchen and washroom facilities. With costs ranging from $4.5-4.9 million, beneficiaries are only required to make a $100,000 contribution towards the home’s construction. As a stipulation, each beneficiary must be the owner of the land on which the home is being constructed. AHUAP is funded by the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) and executed by the Ministry of Housing and Water-Central Housing and Planning Authority.
The AHUAP boundary encompasses, the La Parfaite Harmonie Housing Development in Region Three, Georgetown to Grove on the East Bank of Demerara, Region Four; from Georgetown to La Bonne Intention and nineteen other select communities up to Victoria on the East Coast of Demerara, Region Four.