The Ministry of Housing and Water will embark on reintroducing the Turnkey Home Project that will see low-income families benefiting significantly. This was announced by the Minister within the Ministry, Susan Rodrigues on the NCN programme “Budget 2020”.
The Minister also announced that with reintroducing the project, the beneficiaries will now be able to choose from different models for their homes. Rodrigues stated, “If they want a flat house, a two-story house, two or three bedrooms; we have different models we will be working with, that are affordable because we will be giving out contracts to private developers and some the ministry will build and this way, it is cheaper.”
She highlighted that a significant number of young professionals building their homes for the first time have little to no knowledge of going about hiring contractors, electricians, and plumbers.
They would usually have to take time off of work to transact business necessary in constructing their homes and they would also hire contractors who would produce substandard work, leaving them unpleased.
Rodrigues assured that once an applicant possesses the necessary qualifications, which includes being able to afford the turnkey home, it will be provided. She also stated that the homes would be constructed under scrutiny from the Ministry.
The ministry will also be assessing the contractors to ensure they possess the necessary skills to build the home as well as adequate material.
The Turnkey Home Project was part of the 1000-Homes Project, launched by the Central Housing and Planning Authority (CH&PA) under the People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) Administration in 2011.
The construction of the houses had begun in 2014 but the project was halted in 2016 when the A Partnership for National Unity + Alliance For Change (APNU+AFC) FC administration secured office in 2015.
Upon taking office, the APNU+AFC administration and the new CH&PA board had launched investigations into various housing programmes, including those 1,000 homes, following a great number of complaints.
The turnkey home project was labeled as a wild-west scheme and it was further highlighted that the CH&PA was using its officers to purchase materials under controversial procurement arrangements also that left the new board with deep concern.
The project saw a first phase, where 200 homes were to be constructed but in 2016 many of them were still incomplete. The former coalition government had also announced that the construction of the houses was poor.
A new area by the name of Perseverance which is located behind Providence on the East Bank of Demerara was earmarked for the homes’ construction.
These homes are all two-bedroom, 20 feet by 30 feet with inside bathroom and toilet facilities and a kitchen sink. Each home has a cost of $4.9M, $4.4M which is the cost for the house, and an additional $500,000 for the land.
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