The Guyana Dialogue with Minister within the Ministry of Housing & Water, Susan Rodrigues

The Guyana Dialogue with Minister within the Ministry of Housing & Water, Susan Rodrigues

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so so [Music] [Music] do not follow where the path may lead go instead where there is no path and leave a trail marielle strode welcome to the guy in a dialogue i'm your host shamisa ali good evening to everyone joining us on facebook and youtube i hope everyone had a productive week so far tonight we will discuss the we will discuss state of house lot allocation and new housing development the kind of dialogue is being sponsored by a coordinating council of chinese based in the us uk canada guyana and the caribbean funding support is by well-known philanthropist dave norin from dave west indian imports joining me tonight please welcome our host dr tara and also joining me professor will be professor buru welcome to the show how are you doing tonight to dr tara fine thank you and you i'm doing very well good to see you and dr uh professor buru welcome how are you oh thank you thank you very much and doing very well pleasure to have both of you here this evening we will now go on move on to our guest of the evening she is the minister within the ministry of housing and water she was appointed to the position by president muhammad irfan ali on the 6th of august 2020 she is a dynamic passionate and devoted minister she comes from private sector background and has been in construction and real estate minister rodriguez has a bachelor of law from the university of guyana and has the masters of business in business administration from the university of bedfire bedfordshire making a tangible difference and transforming the lives of her guyanese brothers and sisters remain high on her agenda ladies and gentlemen please welcome the honorable minister susan and m rodriguez welcome it's a pleasure to have you here this evening it's a pleasure to be here good evening um to everyone on the panel and good evening to everyone who is watching and listening thank you dr tara um good evening um minister um i know i've communicated with you on a few occasions before but it's the first time i'm meeting you virtually i hope one day i can meet you in real person um whenever i visit there you know but it's a pleasure to have you i i know i've spoken to many people and they're anxious to look forward to this program because um this year is one of the um jose said one of the dynamic ministers of the pep government now my force um to lead off this discussion we like you to state what was a state of the housing situation when you took office in august 2020 and what you have done since then on the general level and then we'll proceed to ask some additional questions and clarifications so if you can please proceed okay sure so um i think by now everyone knows the state of decline that we found the housing specter in when we took office in august of 2020. we had a government from 2015 to 2020 who um relegated the ministry of housing to a department clearly demonstrating their lack of interest in promoting the housing sector and in promoting housing for ordinary guyanese and promoting affordable housing for for the guyanese people that was followed by no investment in infrastructure in housing schemes which led to a series of of problems in the housing schemes and led to the decline of roads and so on um and of course we know about the track record from 2015 to 2020 which is um just over 7 000 whole slot allocations during that entire five-year period so when we came when we came to the ministry minister kroll and i we found um that there were no plans there were no ongoing projects they there was severe neglect in our housing schemes all of the roads and so on were in poor condition that is why now you see a lot of people across the housing schemes calling for their roads to be upgraded because you've had that entire five years of of neglect and upgrade upgrading in the structure is an ongoing process it's hundreds and hundreds of roads that we're talking about so so it takes constant investment every budget cycle to ensure that we upgrade those roads as the occupancy in the in the housing schemes increase so you know that we promised 50 000 house lots in our five years in office and so we immediately got to work and even though it was in the the latter part of 2020 we were still able to to allocate house lots by december of 2020 and by the time we completed our first uh year in office by the time august by the time we got to august of 2021 we had reached our target our first year target of 10 000 house lots and that was no easy task finding um with the the condition um in which we we took this sector having to develop plans um having to put things in place in order to facilitate the allocation process going to have an emergency budget which we passed mere weeks after taking office to ensure that we cater for the infrastructure investment in housing schemes also in the period in which the ap and uafc were in office illegally during that five-month period and from from january 2020 to august up to the day that president ali was sworn in they made allocations and it was you know a last-minute effort to reward their family and friends with with house lots and it was about 2 000 house lots 1987 i think to be exact and those people um were not shown their house lots and so on so all of the work that that we are doing all of the infrastructure work that we are doing in addition to making sure that those lots are available to the a lotties that we have awarded house lots to we also had to cater for the 2000 that they had allocated uh we had to ensure that we do the infrastructure works to ensure that those persons are able to access their house nuts as well so um house not allocation investment in our housing schemes investment in the in the water sector these are all ongoing on the uwi side we have crafted our five-year strategic plan to ensure that that we can provide water as well within our housing schemes and we are making the plans and investment to to reach our target of 50 000 house lots by 2025 and that there's no cap on that you know if we can if we can make the investment and do the work to surpass that we may even do so but um we have set a very ambitious target you know that that president ali who was then minister of housing had a tremendous track record and um you know we have big shoes to fill in the housing sector but it is a pleasure to be in this sector to be serving in this sector um you know our aim is to ensure that we stay faithful to our manifesto commitments and you can see that and judge for yourselves across all of the sectors not just the the housing sector but across all of the sectors the ministers are out there in communities meeting the people consulting with people and ensuring that we stay faithful to all of those commitments and promises we made in our manifesto because you know a pppc government is the government that that takes our commitments very very seriously our word is our honor and we want to ensure that when we speak that we can make sure that we speak reality we don't sell false dreams or hopes to people we don't raise people's expectations unnecessarily and everything that that we have committed to we have planned that we have costed and we will ensure that we have the investment and we have the manpower and we have the will to get all of these plans and programs through so that by the time we get to 2025 we would have fulfilled every single commitment in our manifesto and thank you very much um now you said during the pnc term five-year term they only built seven thousand house lots which is an average of one thousand for her per year do you have any idea why or this amount was so limited why they couldn't do better you have any um explanation but when you say built um they they are located allocated located seven thousand whole slots but a large majority of that um of the people who received house lots were still um it was in it was in schemes that there was no infrastructure so we in our first budget we ensure that we allotted funds to make the infrastructure to do the infrastructure in those communities to make those house lots available and accessible to the beneficiaries we did not disenfranchise anyone because at the end of the at the end of the day these are ordinary guyanese and and we had to make sure that we make those house lots available and accessible to them now in terms of why um the record was so poor i think the list is very long as to why one of the reasons clearly is that they did not see the value of the housing sector they they so in the first place they abolish the ministry clearly showing their their their lack of interest and will to to do anything in the housing sector they did not prioritize housing even though access to affordable land is a right that that every guyanese has um there was no allocation in the budget from 2015 all the way to 2019 for housing for capital works in the housing sector it was only after the passage of the no confidence motion in december of 2018 and i made this point in parliament it was after the passage of the no confidence motion in 2018 that they went to parliament to pass the first capital budget for housing so there was no way that they could do any capital works housing schemes if they were not making the necessary allocations in the budget that's how that's how budget works you have you you have to if you have plans and you have programs you have to ensure that you have the necessary allocation in the budget to be able to execute we can talk policy and plans and programs all day but if we don't put the budget for it then there's nothing that can be done so it was only in 2019 when they started to to race towards um election when they realized well the election is going to be imminent that they tried um to to gather some steam in the in the housing sector but there clearly was was a neglect um i i think there was another reason is a lack of competence i just i don't think they ever understood the housing sector and that is clear um even today when i listened to to the former the last minister of of housing and water under the ap and uafc who sits in parliament now um when i listen to her sometimes that's when i realized well you know she clearly didn't understand the housing sector she don't she didn't understand how to run the ministry so all of that is the combination of all of these things lack of competence lack of the the financial investment clearly a lack of priority housing was not a priority for the ap and uafc administration and that speaks to a bigger issue of of their philosophy in government they never look out for the small man and you know 75 of the the applicants in our system are low-income applicants those are the small man you know that is the the ordinary guyanese those are the people who need it the most the the low-income earners they need subsidized housing the most so that is where our support is government has to go to develop as much low-income house lots as possible so that we can satisfy the demand in the housing sector and so that the people who need the help the low-income earners can get and access the subsidized housing program from the government of guyana do you think that finances lack of finance was what a constraint to their housing program well lack of finance because they did not make the the necessary allocations in the budget so they went um budget cycle after budget cycle without funding the the ministry of housing or the department of housing as it was then under their administration they they imposed to her new taxes and fees which brought them with additional 70 to 90 billion dollars in revenue right they had the money they had they had the money money yeah put it towards their own use because they found it in 2019 um to to to make the necessary um investment in the budget in 2019 but it was too late then so they had the money which they look they took away their thousand dollar cash grant from the school children but dietary increased by 1.6 billion dollars the same amount of money it would have taken them to distribute 10 000 to each school child at the time that's just one example so it was a matter of of reprioritizing so they did not prioritize children they did not prioritize women they did not prioritize um low-income earners they did not prioritize people who who applied for their for their house lots which is housing construction they didn't prioritize the the basic necessities the things that would improve people's lives they did not invest in infrastructure they did not invest in in in basic services from government that would improve the lives of guyanese at the end of their tenure they invested in them in in themselves and they and they they had a different set of priorities they rate they found money to raise their own salaries so so they had a different set of priorities and quickly the guyanese public realized um the type of government that they have and and that is why they fit that is why they were defeated in the in force that they know confidence motion and then why they were defeated on march 2nd 2020 okay um the you said that your goal is to to reach at least the allocation of i think you said that's 50 000 whole slots now from where you plan to get the land for this from kaisuku alone or from goldman reserves or from private so historically we have received lands from gaisoko we've received and and um survey so and and so the majority the majority of the lands however comes from from gaisuku most of the the applications in our system come from the coastline region so region 2 3 4 5 6 and 10. so most of our applicants come from the coastal regions because in the hinterland you know they're they they have their own land um they have land titling there and it's ancestral land so which reminds me that um the the national to show uh council conference is ongoing this week in guyana and and that is that is major to be able to discuss amerindian development with our amerindian brothers and sisters and the entire cabinet is there all week making ourselves available um to the american community and to all of the touchows who are in georgetown for this annual conference so um so so that's taken care of and the the so the acquisition of land process is an ongoing one because we have competing interests in government of course we have to all we have to always make land available for for agriculture and we also have to make land available for housing so it's a it's a constant it's an ongoing process whenever we we have our locations to make or wherever we have to satisfy the demand we have to ensure we constantly um pursue the acquisition of lands in those in those areas in those coastal regions and um by now from 2020 when we when we took office we found about 70 000 um applicants you know in in the backlog or 70 000 applications and from 2020 to now we have received 21 000 new applicants so that that is a remarkable figure it's not some it's not a daunting task for us because i see it as confidence in the housing sector i see it as young people and the majority of that is young people i see it as a vote of confidence from young people in our country that they have faith in the housing sector that their confidence has been restored in the housing sector now when people see or hear from the ministry of housing they're excited because they can see our work they can see us you know fighting every day to ensure that we we make lands available to to to go out there and to to make our locations and we have several programs that that we are working on to make home ownership more accessible so it's our focus is not primarily on making lands available for house lots but in getting our getting our people to home ownership and that as you know has several benefits the most obvious ones is the creation of the creation of wealth satisfying the the demand in the housing sector promoting occupancy in our housing schemes and ensuring that that guyanese have access to affordable housing ensuring that they have of their own home that they can build a family that they can raise in that they can live in a a neighborhood that they can be part of a sustainable community that is that is a dream for every single human being the first thing they want to do is to own their own home and and that is a collateral that that you can take to the bank and and and you can use as an investment in the future it creates generational wealth it creates an inheritance for you to leave for your kids so it's a it's a very very um important asset to have and not only an economic asset but also helps to improve your standard of living and your and your quality of life and we have been heavily focused on this and this is why we have been helping our applicants after they've received their house lots helping them to build their homes putting them in in touch with the banks helping them to acquire a mortgage helping them to get cheaper financing for them to construct their own homes putting them in touch with contractors who can construct their homes for them and we ourselves have been entering into public-private partnerships with developers to construct homes and we have been overlooking that process to ensure that there is quality in the construction so that people get value from money and they can get into a home of their of their own very quickly so it's a it's a very comprehensive housing program that we have that goes far beyond mere allocation of land okay um can you walk us through the standards that you apply to these house house house lots on housing as well the minimum standards that you apply in the allocation of these well you have to be to to apply for a whole slot you have to be guyanese you have to have a thing in the age of 21 years and um you cannot be the owner of any land whether acquired publicly or privately but it is the the the access to land is a is a constitutional right access to affordable housing is a constitutional right for for guyanese um and you know there's no high criteria there's no high standard there's no means test there is no um political affiliation that you that you have to have to be able to receive a whole slot you know as long as you put in that application um you're 21 years of age we will accept that application and when we are ready for you we will get in touch with you and and you come into the ministry and you receive your house lot at a very heavily subsidized cost and um and you can you can go on to to improve your house lot or or build your home and we are there to support you through that entire process you know our our allocation exercises is conducted in the full view of the public and of the press everyone can see um the faces of all of our beneficiaries and the fee and and in the faces i mean they can see ethnicity they can see people of various of different religion there is no means test there is no qualification that you have to have well i supported this party or that party everybody is entitled we have the press there all day they can ask any question that they want when we make our slots available we announce how many are available and then we invite the people to come and to receive their house lots and you see the faces of of all races and and they're receiving an open transparent fully accountable to the press and to the public thank you uh minister now i pass you on to professor buru with your questions or clarification uh minister can you tell us what the process is involved in getting a house lock there is there you you can apply very simply you can apply online so when we when we took office one of the first things we we revamped and we rehabilitated was the the online application process so and that was obviously um to ensure that we bring the ministry into the technological age but also it was during kovid um and we didn't want it was the height of the pandemic and we didn't want to have a lot of people coming into the ministry so we ensure that they can apply online um but once you you fill out that application it's a simple application form and there's some documents that we request from you like your id your your audi card your your tin certificate and so on basic information and you submit that application whether online or in person and there is an interview that that you attend so that we can determine what type of house lot you are eligible for based on your income and when we are ready for you we will get in touch with you and you are called for your allocation it's a very simple process there's nothing complicated with with um applying for a whole slot at the ministry of housing i think now is something that is it's very celebrated around young people because every day young people approach me even sometimes those who have not reached the age of 21 and they're so excited to to apply for for a whole slot and once they reach 21 years of age it's it's a celebration for them that they can submit that application and they feel very accomplished and you know they say to me that we know that we've just applied but we have we have confidence that um the pppc government will deliver like it has been delivering and they look forward very much for the day when when they can own their own piece of land what's the average time from application to award in a house lot um i'm not going to to give you any false hopes if you apply today it's going to take it's going to take a while because we have said very openly that you know we have a backlog of 70 000 that has now increased um tremendously by 21 000 but we are working as fast as possible to be able to address that that backlog of applications but we have a duty and a responsibility to those who are waiting in the system for a long time there are some people waiting five years there are some people who are waiting um longer than that 10 years and for various reasons so it is important for us to be able to find those people and to be able to to treat them with priority in our allocation process but by the end of 2025 when we would have satisfied our target of 50 000 that backlog would be tremendously reduced and it is our hope that um at at least certainly it is a personal ambition of mine that by the time i leave the housing sector you know i would like i would love to see applications being uh more current and and people not having to wait a very long time to receive their their house lots it appears that there's a more demand than lots that are available so and you have a long backlog you said that you're working as fast as possible to address addresses what does that mean i mean you're trying to get more land more infrastructure you know what is that working very fast means all of these all of these activities go on simultaneously as we are acquiring lands for for a location in 20 we're not going to wait to acquire land in 2023 when we get to 2023. this is an ongoing process we are trying to acquire land to satisfy 50 000 house lots so that is ongoing um at the same time we are doing infrastructure work um for the allocations that we have already made so that is ongoing as well so all of these processes are are are ongoing we have a target of 10 000 annually so we have to ensure that we have plans once you have identified a portion of land we then have to acquire the ownership we then have to develop the design for the area we have to register the plan for for the the area atlantis and survey we have to register the plan we have to um make the the the house lots available we have to go through the allocation process so it's it's a lot of moving parts but these are all happening at the same time there's no straight line um to get there it's it's it's all hands on deck and all of these activities going on simultaneously yeah you said there is no means test to get a house lot um is there a time limit for when a person is awarded a house like parental builder house we try to encourage people to build within the the first year of acquiring their whole slot and i believe it's a clause in their agreement of sale but that depends on also ensuring that we live up to our part of the agreement too which is ensuring that people have access to their house laws so that is why we have to catch up there's a there's you have to catch up with that i said at the beginning of the program when we took office the ap and uafc left over 2 000 people with a letter in their hand just saying that you have an allocation in this housing scheme but you know there was no infrastructure there in the housing scheme there is not even an access to to the housing scheme so we have we had to put the money in the budget past that budget and then do the infrastructure works in those schemes to be able to give access and for those two thousand people plus the ones that that we made allocations for to be able to access their house slots well minister getting a lot and eventually building the house is a credit to the current government but servicing the mortgage and maintenance etc are important for homeownership and community as a whole are there homologous association in these areas where slots are distributed to ensure that these areas do not become shanty tongues because i have visited places in the world where people are given house lots of coffee help them build houses and within a few years they become shanty towns is for private development or within private housing schemes government of guyana housing schemes are heavily subsidized um within our within every housing scheme we make lots available for high-income earners for middle-income earners for moderate income earners for low-income earners and they all coexist in one housing scheme we do not separate our housing schemes we don't put up walls we don't have um gated communities that the government of guyana create our people have to we believe in breaking down walls not putting up walls we are trying to build one guyana and in building one guyana we make services of the government available and accessible to all guyanese regardless of your your income regardless of your race your religion your political affiliation we want to build communities where people of all races of all religion of all ethnicity can can coexist in a housing scheme and this this has been the model um since 1992 when the housing program was was first started on the um dr cherry dragon this has been the model we have not developed housing schemes where only the rich live or where only the poor live we believe in raising the standard of living and the quality of life of all guyanese and so we we allocate house lots of all of these income brackets within a single scheme and we ensure that we develop that scheme with all of the necessary infrastructure access to water access the electricity we leave recreational spaces we we build schools in in large housing schemes we leave areas for commercial development we leave areas for industrial development so people can have access to those services so people can even find jobs um in in in those areas and all of the investment in the housing sector also contributes to growth in the construction sector creating thousands of jobs and contributing tremendously to the economy of guyana uh minister you said that this house lots available to any guyanese does that include guyanese in the diaspora and if so how how can a guyanese in a diaspora get a household so um guyanese in the in the diaspora can can are entitled like i said if they reach if they they satisfy the same criteria of course obviously guyanese um 21 years of age and also cannot be the the owner of land previously and that includes uh publicly or privately so and and of course you have to to return to guyana you can't have a house lot in guyana and and living overseas the idea is for for the diaspora and for guyanese overseas to come home and to to occupy and to to utilize to the fullest their house lot so yes it is accessible to guyanese living overseas but we encourage them to come home to be able to to since in guyana melissa i want to take it out the housing schemes that you're developing and can you tell our listeners how many housing schemes you have currently and how people our families are being selected to occupy houses within these housing schemes we have over 22 housing schemes that we are working on simultaneously across all of the coastal regions um including region 10 and so on there is no the only selection process is that you have to have a an application that comes from our system that comes from that where you have been waiting a long time that comes from the backlog there's no sophisticated process um to select applicants or or to select beneficiaries in in our system we have a land management system and um we we allow that system to work and and we can pull applications from that system one i i have encouraged people consistently to come into the ministry of housing to update their applications because one of the problems that we have every allocation cycle is getting in touch with people sometimes people move sometimes people change their phone numbers and it's difficult for us to get in touch with them when we have an allocation available for them and and then they lose out on that opportunity and that is how time goes by in many of the cases us being unable to reach them so it's important for people to to come into to the ministry those who have old applications five years and older to come in and to to update their applications so we can have updated contact information so once once we announce allocations we can get in touch with them for them to come in but how do you avoid allegations of bias in the allocation of houses in these housing schemes right well i i think i addressed that earlier when i when i when i said because i know that there has been that accusation but it is completely without merit because we never we on our application form there is no box that you have to tick um regarding your your ethnicity or your religion or your political affiliation there we we don't track that information because that information is not pertinent so that allegation is without merit and at every single house lot allocation our flagship dream realized allocation exercise it is a very public event we announce how many house lots we are allocating we invite the media there they stay there throughout the exercise with their cameras roving around all day and you can they can talk to anybody they can interview anyone and you see the faces of guyanese of all races so that is how i would defend that because i cannot come on the program and say we have allocated so many afrogyne these are so many indo-guyanese that is not a test we do not require that information because that is not applicable that is not a requirement for receiving a whole slot so there is there is no better test in my opinion than in the full view of the public where we are open to to scrutiny where every single guyanese can see their fellow guyanese brothers and sisters of all races receiving house lots okay um well you know the reason why i ask that question as rightly said is a lot of people in the opposition side who are claiming discrimination the allocation of houses etc but i want to move on to the other question of building food um i don't know when last day bill in code has been updated in diana but that should be updated and to what extent i know you touch upon this briefly before but our day the buildings that are being constructed conforming with the existing building code and do you consider the existing billing code as adequate at this time or the need to be updated revise get new rules etc so within our housing schemes of course we have um our building codes we ensure that there is enough setback boundaries and so on um we have our surveyors who are always on ground to ensure that people occupy correctly then we ensure that that people build according to the um the code for that area so a lot of these areas to have ndcs who help with with monitoring and enforcement of of building codes so there may have been a need for a revision of building codes in the city of georgetown and across ndc's for modern construction the construction of modern buildings and and buildings for commercial purposes and so on but the building codes for for for houses are are very simple and we try to ensure that people conform to to those building codes in communities where we are doing where we are constructing houses through our public-private partnerships we have our evaluators who are on our engineers who are always on ground to ensure that after every phase of of construction that they go there to ensure that the quality is maintained and that the the building codes are being adhered to and of course not only us but many of the the banks have their own evaluators who are there as well during the construction process because a lot of this is financed by the banks so i see yes they need especially in georgetown for updating of the building codes and i believe that there is an exercise that is ongoing in that regard but we um also plan to publish from the ministry of of housing um some updated building codes and guidelines really on on how to build and what is the appropriate setback boundary and and what height um the drain should be you know so that we can prevent things like flooding and so on in housing schemes because we have sometimes people who build their drains higher than their neighbor and then the water can't run off so we have to do more work in that regard but it's something that we have recognized and we have been working to correct all right just by a quick diversion um can you please give us a brief update on your plan for portable water through the country so when we when we took office in 2020 um the the state of affairs we found the water sector in was um it was a poor poor conditions gwi was was in trouble um with their financing the company was bankrupt um they had a lot of outstanding debts to suppliers we had to ensure that there was efficient management of that company and then in terms of delivery of portable water 53 of all of the the water was treated water and so we quickly devised a strategic plan a five-year strategic plan for the guyana water inc 2021-2025 where we plan to improve access to potable water from that 53 to 100 by 2025 and we we similarly in terms of access to what horse time access especially in the hinterland which when we took office was four to six percent so four to six percent of the hinterland received had access to water from the time we we from 2020 to now we have already improved that 46 in the hinterland and that has moved to 63 so so in that short time less on the two years we have already moved the needle from from 46 to 63 and by the time we finish our program for 2022 we will increase it even further to 73 access in the hinterland and on the coastline the aim is is the bigger goal is not first time access because um about 98 of of people on the coastline have access to water but as they treated water coverage that we had to increase or that we have to increase by 100 by 2025 and we have the we have all of the the plans and the and the the areas we have already um we've already identified the areas in which there is a gap where we have to put the the water treatment plant and for this year alone 2022 alone we plan to go out to tender for 10 new water treatment plants which will see tens of thousands of of guyanese being able to access treated water for potable water for the first time so that is that is ongoing as well of course upgrading our water infrastructure is is an ongoing process ensuring that that that we improve and upgrade all of our distribution networks and then we have to expand those those distribution networks to cater for our housing needs because with with 50 000 new allocations between um from 2020 to the time we get to 2025 we also have to improve the delivery of water and potable water within our housing schemes so the ministry of housing and water um the two agencies are working very closely to ensure that you know we we are on par and in sync with each other okay i know you have a big project coming up the housing exhibition so if you can please tell us about the scope of that what you intend go um we are we are extremely excited about international building expo 2022 from the time we we we came to office we wanted to to reintroduce the building expo because you know that that was not continued on the the previous administration and it was such a good initiative that that was started by president ali when he was housing minister giving people the opportunity to come out and to be able to see what is taking place in the housing sector to be able to come out and witness firsthand some of the the the model homes so that they can make better informed uh decisions when they choose uh to invest in a home this year the housing expo is even bigger it's it's international building expo we have over 20 i think about 25 international companies that are participating in the expo we have over 300 companies that will be on exhibition local companies and that ranges over many sectors we have of course the construction sector we have the banking sector we have the manufacturing sector um and the insurance insurance companies and a whole host of of other local products and services that are available additionally we have on display and on the the model houses that the ministry of housing is building in our housing schemes so potential uh beneficiaries can have the opportunity to walk through those houses to be able to to get a feel of the space to see the quality of the work that we are doing and they can they can choose there with their families they can make decisions on the spot and sign up for a home there are other companies that are constructing homes there as well so they can have they have a wider variety they have more choices that they can that the more options to choose from and affordable options we have for the first time in the caribbean a company that is putting on exposition their e-machine this is the the 3d printer which will demonstrate the future of construction so it will it over the the three days at the expo um they will put on display for for the visiting public how the machine works and how it can actually print a a life-size home so that will help tremendously in accelerating construction in the housing sector so the technology is fascinating and i think a lot of guyanese are excited to go and witness that but outside of the housing sector as well we are also putting on on putting at on exposition the future of guyana the architectural future of guyana so we have um a it when people come in there's a there's going to be a beautiful tunnel there for them to go through and to see some of the projects that will be implemented um in the future in guyana so they'll have a firsthand look at what guyana's architectural future will be like five years ten years from now giving them that that experience and it's a family event that people can come out with there with their kids and and we have a play zone an area for the children where the children can go and um enjoy themselves while they're while their their parents look around more importantly we have during the expo we are having our dream realized land allocation untitled distribution exercise which will see thousands of house lots being allocated over the three days from the 22nd of july to the 24th so that i know many many people are are excited for people have been waiting a long time and you will see allocations being made over those three days you will also see thousands of titles being distributed during the expo as well so we are doing two things there at at once we are taking our land allocation exercise to the expo and we have simultaneously going on the exposition so you can receive your house lot you can then um walk around and have a look at some of the houses that you can choose from the banks will be there you can sit and have a conversation with them they can pre-qualify you on the spot you can find out the requirements you need to access a mortgage for you to build at home there will be contractors there um whom you can sit and have a conversation with so that you can make the right decision so we're bringing all of the services in the housing and construction sector under one place and at the same time giving everyone a unique experience a family event creating a family atmosphere for people to come out see what their country will look like five ten years from now with the investment we are making in the housing and in the construction sector i'm having a look at the new highways that we will be building and where we will be building the new highways where we will be opening up new lands so it is it is a very very exciting expo i know people are looking forward very much to it and everyone is invited to the opening ceremony which will take place on the 22nd of july at 5 30 p.m at the diana national stadium so right there in the expo we're having the opening ceremony so by the time the official ceremony is over everyone can go and walk around and have a first hand look at everything all of the products and services that will be on display there at the expo thank you very much our minister professor buru yeah minister i have a last question for you is there a master plan that the government has that defines where housing are going to be where you have industrial complex where the roads new ones uh existing ones uh where uh factories and and uh commercial air is going to be is there a plan like that that someone can go on a website and see what the what's uh is being planned so there is a master plan of course because you know pppc administration um does not plan for today we plan for the future and that is why i said too in the beginning that when we're looking for for land um to make available for housing we're not looking only for what we're going to do in 2022 we we promised 50 000 lots in five years so we we're we are pursuing land to satisfy that commitment that we made in every housing scheme that that we develop we ensure that we leave we design that housing scheme in a sustainable way and that means providing proper zoning in the housing scheme so we have areas for industrial purpose area for commercial purpose areas for government services health centers schools etc recreational facilities green spaces and then we have a mix in our our residential area from from low income to to high income earner so that we can truly build an integrated um wholesome sustainable community and and this we are trying to do um on the coastline and and trying to when we when we construct new highways and so on these plans are not plans that we came up with today for example that um four-lane highway that we built since taking office from mandela to eccles president ali had conceptualized and had the plans for that highway as far back as 2012.

so he was working on that plan since then unfortunately he was not able um as housing minister to implement it but the moment we took office we started to implement those plans and and so those are not those are not new plan those were those ideas were there from before and so we want to expand on that we want to grow we want to expand that highway to move from eccles to go to diamond which we have already started and then we want to go beyond there to open up lands more lands for for housing development so and and this is this is an an ongoing exercise in all of the regions but it's it's also an evolving exercise because like i mentioned before too we have competing interests so we have to see where there is land still being used for agriculture and we have to leave that because you know people depend on agriculture for their for for their sustenance and so so we have to ensure that the agriculture sector remains vibrant too so it's it's a constant um need to to prioritize and to ensure um that each sector is is is given the right allocation so are these ideas put in a blueprint at one on our website and see for example i can go to your website at ch and pa and see see this develop see this plan what you have so you can you can have a look at um the plans that that we have started to implement for example but in terms of the the future plans that is what we are we are unfeeling at the building expo and how our our um housing schemes will look like what some of our highways will look like where there they are scheduled to go in in the next few years and of course you always hear about the you hear the president and the vice president talking about um the infrastructural future and the transformation of guyana you will have an opportunity to look at these um to look at these first hand at the building expo sarah right honorable minister we thank you very much uh is almost up and i'll pass you on to our host minister thank you very a lot of information was shared this evening can you go ahead and give us your concluding remarks i i want to say thank you very much for having me this evening it was a pleasure being able to to share and update everyone on the plans in the housing housing and water sector and we look forward very much to everyone's participation and and for everyone to come out at international building expo 2022 as we unveil the plans for the future and of course all of this is towards um building on the initiative of his excellencies one guyana initiative bridging communities bringing people together as we transform guyana's infrastructure we also have to transform lives and we also have to improve lives of every single guyanese regardless of your race regardless of your religion regardless of your geographical location we want to build guyana by building up our people and that is our that is our main goal and that that focus we remain steadfast and committed to every single day our focus remains on building a one guyana so that all guyanese regardless of where you live can come can come home be a part of this initiative and be proud of guyana thank you very much you know uh tonight dr tara we heard a minister is very knowledgeable about you know her ministry and she spoke brilliantly about the plans for the future and how guyana will move forward we heard her speak about plans for over 50 000 house lots um promise to the people of ghana i heard her say that she wants to the government wants to make sure that their word is their honor and um she spoke about low income housing she spoke about programs that this just doesn't give you your lands and just leave you out there i heard her speak about things that they put in place after you get that land and i do want to acknowledge your many of you we're looking at your comments we're reading them i wish we can go ahead and answer all your questions unfortunately there are 91 000 applications sitting in front of this minister right now and and you know the entire housing it's a lot right and just be patient hang in there it's tough but please hang in there everyone will get their chance with that said i want to thank all of you please share this information with your friends your family anyone that you think will gain knowledge from this program tonight please share with them until next time be safe take care thank you everyone thank you thank you night and be safe thank you and thank you the host and the technician behind here thank you

2022-07-21 13:55

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