Sophia celebrates as 13 residents settle into new homes

Thirteen families in Sophia became proud owners of brand-new core homes, through the Ministry of Housing and Water’s Adequate Housing and Urban Accessibility Programme (AHUAP).

Minister within the Ministry of Housing and Water, Susan Rodrigues officially handed over the keys to the beneficiaries, during a simple ceremony held at Samantha Lillie’s home in Section ‘D’ Turkeyen (Sophia), Georgetown on Wednesday.

Lillie, who had previously resided in a dilapidated structure with her children expressed immense joy after being chosen to benefit from the programme.

“I want to thank God for blessing me and my children with this home. I also want to thank the government and the ministry and all those who were involved in this project,” the elated woman told the Department of Public Information (DPI). 

Minister within the Ministry of Housing and Water, Susan Rodrigues, Deputy Director of Community Development, Donell Bess-Bascom and Samantha Lillie inside the home

Another beneficiary, Drupattie Angad said the new home will allow her to provide a safe and comfortable home for her five children.

“I lived in a wooden structure; rain used to wet us and there were a lot of holes in the house so I’m thankful for this,” she said.  

The Core home in Sophia, Georgetown

The other beneficiaries were Anastasia Felix, Simone Fraser-Lespoir, Lindon Lynch, Sonia Thorne, Andrew Padmore, Albert De Oliveria, Rosalind Marques, Laurence Persaud, Shirley Campbell, Sharon Half and Vaulda Crawford.

Minister Rodrigues extended her warm congratulations to the beneficiaries, expressing her admiration for their active participation in the project, which played a crucial role in ensuring a successful process.

The minister highlighted the importance of the project within the broader context of the national housing programme being executed by the PPP/C Government.

 “While you see a lot of attention being placed on house lot allocation, the focus is on home ownership as it should be, helping people to get into their own home,” the minister emphasised.

The initiative falls under the more than $5.8 billion (US$28 million) AHUAP programme funded by the Inter-American Bank (IDB).

Minister within the Ministry of Housing and Water, Susan Rodrigues handing over the keys to the home to the daughter of Drupattie Angad

In the community of Sophia, some $191.6 million has been allocated for the construction of core homes.

A total of 80 beneficiaries were selected from the area. Currently, 35 core homes have been successfully built, with 21 of them already handed over to deserving families, and 14 homes are now occupied.

Some 14 more core homes are currently under construction, and 31 are in the procurement stage.

The core homes are single-family units measuring about 400 square feet, with concrete blocks for outer walls and floors, basic doors, windows and other basic amenities. Each beneficiary is only required to contribute a sum of $100,000 towards the cost of the home.

Each beneficiary also received a five-year termite treatment certificate and electrical certificate for the building valid for 10 years.

Minister within the Ministry of Housing and Water, Susan Rodrigues and the beneficiaries of the core homes

Meanwhile, under the programme, $78.6 million was set aside for Home Improvement Subsidies. Out of a total of 198 beneficiaries, 111 subsidies have already been disbursed to the recipients.

Additionally, over $898 million is being expended on infrastructure works in the area. These include road upgrades, the construction of concrete bridges, and the installation of street lights and recreational facilities.

The programme aims to improve the quality of life of Guyanese in urban and peri-urban Georgetown, through the provision of better access to adequate housing and basic infrastructure for low-income populations, and improved accessibility and mobility services.

Deputy Director of Community Development, Donell Bess-Bascom and other technical staff were also in attendance.

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