‘APNU+AFC found 56,466 housing applications pending in 2015’ – MP Annette Ferguson

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-34, 425 applicants were pre-qualified for the house lot but not responded to by CHPA

Guyana’s APNU+AFC Member of Parliament, Shadow Minister for Housing Annette Ferguson, found herself responding to members of the government benches during her contribution to the Budget Debate 2024. Members of the government side of the House used their time to assail the Opposition stewardship of the country during their recent tenure, 2015–2020.

MP Ferguson said when the Coalition Government inherited the reins of government in May 2015, there were 56,466 pending house lots applications on file to greet the new administration. The People’s Progressive Party Civic (PPPC) had controlled the sector by this time for 23 years.

“This figure comprises, Mr. Speaker, some 34,425 applicants who were pre-qualified for a house lot, but no answer was made,” the MP stated. The former Minister of Housing stated that at that time, 32% of all pending applications were classified as low income and the remainder as middle income.

“In 2016, the Coalition conducted a study on the challenges facing the government housing program in Guyana. It was discovered that a high number of pending applications for low-income applicants could be partially attributed to the crowding-out effect due to the high provisions for middle-income earners,” the MP stated to the National Assembly.

The findings also uncovered that the overall backlog of applications may also be because of cases where the applicant may have declined an offer because of lack of affordability at the time of the offer or a lack of desire to build a home at the location offered due to insufficient public infrastructure services.

Member of Parliament Annette Ferguson challenged the current minister of the sector, Colin Croal, to prove her wrong, noting that former staff of the Central Housing and Planning Authority (CHPA) are now private housing developers. Slothfulness in the processing of land titles and shoddy construction now characterize the sector, she stated.