May 24, 2016 News
– Minister Sharpe-Patterson
New monitoring and certification measures are being employed to assure the delivery of quality turn-key homes.
The quality of the turnkey houses at Providence and Perseverance, on East Bank Demerara, were called into question, after investigations revealed several defects in their construction.
Minister within the Ministry of Communities with responsibility for Housing, Valerie Sharpe-Patterson, recently revealed to the Government Information Agency (GINA) that corrective works have commenced on the faulty homes, and that quality control measures have been put in place for monitoring the various stages of construction and certification of the new houses.
“When we investigated, it was poor work done by our contractors…they did not comply with their scope of work, and so we have to take some blame for that because we had our project department supervising. We had a Clerk of Works on the programme,” the Minister said.
”We have to move on; we have to repair those homes,” she said, adding that the Chairman of the Board of the Central Housing and Planning Authority (CH&PA), Hamilton Green, met with persons at Perseverance and that “right now we are in the process of doing corrective work.”
“What we are also doing is, the homes that we have currently being built, we are also ensuring that proper inspections are done.”
Minister Patterson-Sharpe added that this is the new approach of demanding and offering quality products to homeowners.
“Persons are paying $4.5M for that home and $500,000 for the land and you cannot give people inferior work, so we are in the process of doing inspections to ensure that when we hand those homes over, they are properly done and the people get value for their money,” she said.
The Ministry currently has just over 130 turnkey homes being built. She explained that since the inception of the housing project, 75 of these houses were allocated, with 58 done during the one-year period of A Partnership for National Unity +Alliance for Change (APNU+AFC) government.
At present, however, only 45 of the 75 persons allocated houses are occupying them.
The Minister is optimistic that the occupancy rate of the homes will improve once the faults are remedied.
She explained that though the housing project has remained a favourite for Guyanese, problems had developed with the passage of time on the houses. Some of these defects arose on the completed buildings even before the beneficiaries moved into their homes.
The most prevalent defects seen on the houses that are now being remedied include the backstairs moving away from the building, shrinkage on doors, cracks on the kerb wall, and on the floor, and improper construction of the septic tank.
A number of reasons including design flaw, incorrect site preparation, a lack of firm site supervision and the contractor cutting costs to maximise savings were responsible for the defects on the buildings.
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