Housing Ministry seeks votes for new homes
Correspondence requesting votes, “support and commitment” to the People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) are being sent out to new homeowners who would have signed up with government to purchase properties.
But this campaign tactic is not sitting well with many persons who have expressed disgust at the government using homeownership as a means of soliciting votes in the upcoming May11 elections.
The letter signed and sent by Housing Minister, Irfaan Ali, is being circulated by those who received it and according to them, the government has no right to seek their votes in this manner. They say that the use of state resources would have allowed for them to purchase their homes. “It was not a favour or a gift that was granted.”
The current housing programmes being offered by the Ministry include home purchases in the professional housing scheme, and those in the ‘Turn Key’ housing programme for high and low income earners, among others.
While land purchases was at $58,000 in the early 90s and more than$90,000 by mid-2000, the lowest of income earners today must pay up front, half a million dollars for the land on which the house will be built. They must then go to the New Building Society (NBS) with which the Ministry has an agreement, and seek a loan to either build or pay for the finished house.
The Minister told the new homeowners that “since the November 2011 General Elections, the government has distributed more than 15,000 new houses so that Guyanese can have their own homes. Without a doubt, the works of the PPP/C Government have had a significant impact in your life. For the first time in your life, you are the legal owner of a plot of land. Now you could achieve the dream of you and your family that is, owning your own home and not having to rent or beg lodging.”
“Today, you have been able to achieve what maybe your parents could have only dreamed about — home ownership. This PPP/C Government has made your dream come through and your family can now live happily together.”
He implored citizens to “give the PPP/C your full support as we seek to build a united and viable Guyana. We owe it to ourselves and the future generations. We owe this to our conscience. The PPP/C remains committed to you and your family. In return, I humbly request your support and commitment to the PPP/C.”
Ali said, too, that despite the numerous challenges that the government faced during the last few years, the country keeps moving in the right direction. “Our economy has experienced nine consecutive years of positive growth averaging five percent per annum. The PPP/C government has been investing hundreds of millions of dollars in key social sectors such as education, health, housing and water, roads, drainage and irrigation, and agriculture.
“Today, education continues to be more accessible to all students. We have been able to achieve universal primary education and we are very close to achieving universal secondary education. Over the last ten years, Guyanese students have won the highest awards given by the Caribbean Examinations Council.
“For the last three years, Guyanese students have topped the CXC examinations. Today, an ever increasing number of students are accessing tertiary and university education.
“The government continues to expand health services, making complicated tertiary health care available to more people. With more than 365 health care facilities across the country, almost every community in Guyana has access to health care services, and the government is working assiduously to expand the capacity of the system to deliver specialist services and facilities.”
He said that Guyana has made tremendous progress towards achieving the Millennium Development Goals and was honoured to be amongst only 17 countries worldwide to receive special recognition by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation for the progress “we have made in reducing hunger and improving nutrition.”
“But we must guard against any effort aimed at stymieing and delaying the development of our country. We must work together to ensure that the PPP/C returns to office with a majority in the National Assembly so that our dream for a prosperous and economically viable Guyana can be realised. In so doing, our children’s future can be secured so that our family’s welfare and the welfare of our beautiful country, Guyana, can be secured on this path of progress.”