Dec 31, 2019 News
– Agency moves to review process of distribution
The non-occupancy of house lots remains a major issue facing the Central Planning and Housing Authority (CH&PA), officials attached to the agency said yesterday.
CH&PA Operations Manager Denise King–Tudor told media operatives at an end of year press conference that there are a number of persons who failed to occupy or even construct a building on their acquired house lots at Perseverance, East Bank Demerara. She used the housing scheme as a reference for the level of non-occupancy.
According to King–Tudor “All of the housing units at Perseverance that were constructed by the government were allocated, but only 75 to 80% are currently occupied.”
The official noted that the non-occupancy is due to the fact that in some cases persons are waiting on the bank to release payments so that they can proceed with their transactions.
“There are instances, also, where persons would have received the monies, but have refused to advance the process. Then, there are persons who are in the clear, but have still failed to occupy their homes. This has led to instances where persons – who traverse the neighbourhood – would contact the CH&PA to inquire about those homes with the intent of acquiring them.
Nevertheless, King–Tudor noted that the agency has been engaging owners to get them to occupy their homes.
“We have been talking to them, and in fact, they have given us specific timelines to occupy those units. So, we are working with the purchasers to get them to move in, because the thing about it, is that when someone would have demonstrated to us that they need housing, then we are expecting that within the shortest possible time, they will complete that transaction with us, and that they will move in those houses. We have some cases – a few in Perseverance – that we are getting results, but we need that to speed up,” she said.
Tudor-King said that there have been cases where owners were given ultimatums. Letters are served before a meeting is requested.
“The first (letter) one is to say that we have observed that this house has been unoccupied for a period of time and that we would like to meet with you and we are encouraging you to occupy. Then, we move to the next stage where we have a meeting, where we say to you, if you fail to occupy within a specific timeframe, we will review the allocation,” she said.
Tudor-King disclosed that at present some 60,000 active applications are in the system.
Meanwhile Minister within the Ministry of Communities, Annette Ferguson said the government will continue with its push for affordable housing solutions. She said a number of projects are to come on stream in the new year that will benefit citizens more.
Chief Executive Officer of the CH&PA Lelon Saul said the Authority will continue to subsidize the cost of housing to ensure citizens are able to acquire house lots.
“At this agency, we provide housing for the entire nation and that is why we have this huge demand here. Many people who come to CHPA could go on the open market and purchase land or houses, and maybe we will need to review that, because as the country’s economy improves, we will need to review that. Those who have the means need to go on the open market and purchase house lots and houses. Don’t come here, we are for the small man,” Saul said.
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