…35% so far prefer duplexes
With the Housing Expo coming to an end there has been an influx of Guyanese to the Brickdam office of the Central Housing and Planning Authority to apply for housing units and house lots.
With this buzz created by the Expo, the majority of persons visiting CH&PA have shown interest in the single unit homes while 35 per cent so far are interested in the duplex units. This is according to Chief Executive Officer of the Authority, Lelon Saul.
In an interview with the media, Saul said that the CH&PA is very satisfied with the response it has received following the expo which was held over the weekend at Perseverance, East Bank Demerara using a model village.
“From all indication, the majority of persons interviewed have shown a preference for the single unit elevated. The CH&PA displayed two single elevated units and so, there is a preference for that. Additionally, there were six duplexes displayed. Approximately 35 per cent of the persons interviewed would have shown a preference for the duplexes.”
He said that concerns have been raised regarding the prices for the units; however, he assured that the prices offered by the CH&PA are reasonable given the level of investment that would have been put into the construction of these homes.
“Additionally, we would have subsidised the cost of building those homes. As it relates to the private developers, some of them would not have stuck to the guidelines that we would have given and so as a result, they did not build houses for low income families.”
Nevertheless, Saul said that his agency is pleased with the level of support and interest that the public has shown for the new housing initiative.
Moving forward, Saul said that the information obtained during the recently held exposition will be used to guide the CH&PA in terms of what is to be done in the future and the other solutions to the housing needs to be offered.
He said that duplexes will be constructed across ten areas in the country. According to Saul, one of the lessons which would have been learnt from the exposition is that construction techniques and materials used have a bearing on the final cost.
“In order to bring down the cost, one has to take a look at the construction technique that is being employed because that does have an impact on cost. Additionally, the material; the type of material that you use; because we would have used the best of the local wood, it influenced the cost for the buildings, so what we intend to do in the future is maybe the internal works in the building, for example we may use some other form of hardwood instead of greenheart and for external work, yes we will use greenheart.”
He said that whatever changes made to the housing units will not be done in a manner that undermines the integrity of the buildings. He said that one of the duplexes cost $16M to construct but is being sold for $6.5M simply because the need of citizens is being taken into consideration.
Saul added that as the CH&PA moves forward it will be realised that the subsidy that would have been given per proportion, he believes the same will be done for the other buildings. He cautioned that this may not be sustainable, “We will have to find some means of bringing down the cost.”
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