The Project’s Department is located on the first floor of the CH&PA's main office building. The department is lead by the Senior Engineer who is supported by five other engineers and eight clerks of works.
The main outcome from the effort of the department includes development of new lots, consolidation of existing schemes and upgrading of squatter areas. Over the years many areas has been serviced with infrastructure. Most recently however, that is during 2009, areas in regions 3, 4, 5, 6 and 10 have received a large percentage of the agency’s annual budget. For 2010, the focus is in regions 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 9 & 10. Certainly in the near future, works will also be done in region #8.
To finance the cost of the infrastructural development, the CH&PA receives funding from central government as per the national budgetary allocation. In addition to the funding from central government, the CH&PA also finances infrastructural works from revenues generated out of the sale of land. Currently, the CH&PA is also implementing a loan from the Inter-American Development Bank under the second Low Income Settlement Program.
Second Low Income Settlement
The Government of Guyana has requested a loan of US$27.9 million from the Inter – American Development Bank to improve the quality of life of low-income families through better access to housing. In April 2009, the government entered into an agreement with the Inter American Development for the Second Low Income Settlements Program. The agreement entered into is for Twenty Seven million Nine Hundred Thousand United States dollars (US$27.9M) of which the IDB will provide full funding.
The main objective of the program is to improve the quality of life of low-income families through better access to housing. The program is separated in three main components and is expected to benefit approximately 12,000 households.
Component 1: to develop new sites with services, to consolidate existing housing schemes and to upgrade squatter areas.
- Development of New Site with Services – this will include new land subdivisions of housing lots with connections to basic infrastructure (streets, sanitation, septic tanks, power, water, electricity and drainage). The eight areas under this sub-component are: Block ‘8’ Tuschen phase 2, Section EE Non Pariel, Ordance Fortlands phase 2, No. 76 Village phase 2, Five Miles Bartica, Amelia’s Ward phase 3, The Bell west, Recht Door Zee phase 2.
- Consolidation of Existing Housing Schemes – this consists of on-site investments by CH&PA to complete or rehabilitate infrastructure and services to existing sites. The seven areas under this sub-component are: Westminister phase 1, Area B Lusignan, Tabatinga, Onderneeming phase 1, Block D Bath, Amelia’s Ward phase 2 and Recht Door Zee phase 1.
- Upgrading of Squatter Areas – this will include improving the physical conditions (such as widening and paving of street access, drainage, electricity, septic tanks and water distribution). The five areas under this sub-component are: Section D Sophia, Binkey Alley Lusignan, Area R Ankerville, Block 5 Ankerville and Eliza and Mary.
Additionally, this component will:
- Include US$2 million for off-site investments to guarantee potable water supply to the twenty sites. These investments will include installation of new wells, transmission upgrades and leak reduction.
- A pilot of 400 new core houses, defined as a minimum of 312 sq.ft with a sanitary block (septic tank, toilet, shower and a multi-purpose sink), concrete block for outer walls, floor in concrete slab, basic doors, windows, electrical wiring and water connections. The average cost of this core-house is US$5,500.
Component 2: to implement pilots to attend issues of affordability and sustainability.
- Incremental Housing and Housing Improvement – the objective of this pilot is to help households improve an existing core house (new roof, floor, or room additions). This will consists of a grant of and technical assistance for 400 families at US$1,000 per family, with a contribution by the household. This pilot will be executed in existing housing schemes. The beneficiaries will be selected according to income level criteria, as detailed in the Operating regulations.
- Partnership with Professional Groups – the objective of this pilot is to address the shortage of affordable homes for specific professional groups, such as teachers and nurses. The homes will be funded by the professional associations and available for ownership to their members who would have to comply with the selection criteria agreed upon in the Operating regulations.
- Housing in the Hinterland – the objective of the pilot is to address the housing needs in eight communities in Region 1 and 9 (amongst the poorest in the country).
Component 3: to strengthen the Central Housing and Planning Authority. Investments will include consulting services and goods for:
- Finalization of the National Housing Policy and the preparation of a strategic plan.
Training of CH&PA staff to reach better planning and assessment in the pre-design phase
- Management training for CH&PA staff
- Upgrade of the monitoring and information system
Activities to strengthen CH&PA’s regional housing offices
We also develop and incorporate lots for middle income earners in our housing schemes. These lots are generally bigger, marketed at a higher price and separate but adjoining the low income lots.
Housing through the formal sector has generally proven to be beyond the affordability levels of the low-income / no – income households, which form the larger portion of the people – in – need-of housing in Guyana.
This inability to legitimately acquire dwelling units has led to squatting on vacant parcels of land, mainly owned by government or the state, in many cases, in high risk, environmentally unsafe areas such as the sea defence and other drainage reserves.
The Planning and Settlement Development Department operates under the guidance of the Town and Country Planning Act. This legislation in guiding the work of the department allows for this department to:
- Facilitate and promote development to ensure that it is at all times carried out in the best interest of the public.
- Ensure the orderly and progressive development of land within the country in order to improve and maintain living standards of all citizens.
- Monitor and regulate land use activities to ensure that development is carried out in accordance with the regulations and standards of the Central Housing and Planning Authority.
The Department discharges its functions through the following lines of operation:
The Land Development and Allocation Department’s main functions are:
- To allocate plots of land to applicants for residential, commercial, institutional and industrial purposes within Government housing schemes.
- Provide security of tenure to allottees, to facilitate access to financing for house/building construction.
- Implement Government’s housing programmes and initiatives.
- Monitor housing development and ensure compliance with the Allocation Policy and the Town and Country Planning Act.
- Conceptualize, implement and review as needed policies guiding the land allocation processes
This Department has four sections with the following responsibilities: