By Zena Henry
Of the 600 properties to be built in the newly opened Perseverance, East Bank Demerara location, owners of the first 50 Turn-Key Buttercup Cottages were on Tuesday taken by the Ministry of Housing and Water to inspect their incomplete properties.
Ministry officials explained that the homes should be ready in a few months, but no less than 10 homes are expected by next month. Construction of the homes would have commenced at different points in time, so all the properties would not be ready at the same time.
The Ministry’s Director of Operations, Denise King-Tudor, in her description of the homes, explained that the properties are built to accommodate a top flat. She said that after a year, with the necessary consultancy, homeowners can opt to expand their properties, either to the back of the property or add another floor. The houses come with metal doors, sash and louvre windows.
She noted that the area has been observed to stay relatively dry and doubted any major flood occurrences, especially since the properties are being built higher than the roadway. The spaces between the homes are relatively small – which was an observation of many of the homeowners – but they were soothed by the expectation that their children will have access to a playground built a short distance away.
King-Tudor also noted that the Perseverance properties are conveniently located in proximity to several schools, with easy access to health facilities, such as the Diamond Diagnostic Centre and security services, specifically from the Providence Police Station. The main road accessing the properties is a straight one off the East Bank Public Road; past the Princess Hotel. The majority of the thoroughfare is completed and paved, but to facilitate construction of other homes, Kaieteur News was told that the remainder of the road will have to be built at a later date so that heavy duty vehicles will not destroy it.
However, those Perseverance residents will have easy access, the Director continued, to the major road which will be built to join the East Bank to the East Coast.
Some of the questions posed by the residents related to the availability of electricity, water, telephone and internal fixtures for the homes. Electricity is already available on the location, and only needs to be run to the homes, the Director said. The residents will have the option of pre-paid or other meters. Water will be accessible by the time residents move in, but many of the fixtures will have to be done by the homeowner. This includes the building of fences, concreting yards, and building of water storage areas. The bathroom area and patio is expected to be tiled, but most of the internal work is expected to be completed by the homeowner.
It was made absolutely clear that the housing scheme is a residential area, so questions about shops etc. were shot down. It was mentioned, however, that a few years down the line, if such amenities seem necessary, discussions could be held to accommodate those basic needs facilities.
“Remember this is a residential area,” the Director urged, “we are not looking for shops, the next thing beer gardens and such start popping up.” One homeowner immediately mentioned that residents will shut down such establishments.
The Housing Ministry has started to construct homes from the back of the land and is moving to the front. In a few years, the now relatively ‘naked’ suburban location will be filled with simple, modern Turn-Key houses. The Ministry said that the properties have a total floor area of 600 square feet. It is primarily constructed with concrete and the finish floor level is one foot above the road.
It includes two bedrooms, washroom, septic tank, kitchen, common dining and living room area and patio. “The columns are spaced ten feet apart; expansion towards the side and back can be done maintaining this grid.” The Ministry said that the building’s foundation and columns can accommodate the addition of a top floor.
To obtain one of the 20’x30’Turn-Key homes, an applicant must be a resident citizen above the age of 21 and neither owner or part owner of any other property. The applicant can uplift an application from the Housing Ministry and fill it out. The applicant- if qualified- is sent to the bank to obtain a loan-mortgage financing. If the pre-qualified applicant is successful with the bank, they then select a house lot and pay the Ministry. The applicants will inspect and then sign to process the Agreement of Sale to the bank. The allottee will submit to the bank a satisfaction letter from the Ministry and the bank will then make the house payment via check, before the house key is handed over to the new homeowner.
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