CH&PA to fund housing sector jump-start
As the administration continues to grapple with growing problems in the housing sector, it has been announced that 2017 will see intense focus in targeting low income and state employees.
The monies that are needed to carry out critical works will come from the coffers of the Central Housing and Planning Authority (CH&PA). Speaking Monday during his presentation of the 2017 budget, Finance Minister Winston Jordan made it clear that the answers to the housing sector problems will have to be holistic. There are approximately 25,000 applications on file for house lots, of which almost 18,000 are low income individuals. According to Jordan, concerns about the low occupancy of many housing developments areas have led to reviews of the mechanisms used to enable home ownership. “What has been revealed is the lack of a holistic approach in providing quality, affordable housing in safe, well-serviced communities. Many recipients of house lots remain unable to start construction, while others have been allocated lots in areas that are woefully underdeveloped and without basic infrastructure.” Still, he said, many more are saddled with poorly constructed turnkey homes. “The Housing Profile study is in progress and will be the basis for the preparation of the National Housing Policy which is expected to inform the revitalization of the sector so that it can fulfill its catalytic role within the economy,” he promised. This year, a total of 1,921 new house lots were allocated to potential home owners – 4,208 land titles were distributed, and 173 squatters were regularized. Government is currently considering a new model for providing for the housing needs of the thousands of low income individuals is being. According to Jordan, this is in recognition of the critical links between housing construction, home ownership, consumer spending, revenue generation, and economic growth. Jordan disclosed that going forward, the mode of providing affordable housing will include a mix of multistorey apartment buildings, duplexes, and single family homes within sustainable community structures.