Discussions have been advanced between the Administration and the Islamic Development Bank IsDB, with regards to the funding of affordable housing solutions and urban renewal in Guyana.
On Monday January 23, 2017, Idrissa Dia, Divisional Manager, Urban Development and Wahyu Wijayanto, Senior Financial Analyst, Urban Development, of the IsDB met with Minister of Communities, Ronald Bulkan, Minister with responsibility for Housing, Valerie Adams-Patterson, Chairman of the Central Housing and Planning Authority’s Board, Hamilton Green and senior staff of the CH&PA.
The meeting was aimed at furthering discussions that were initiated at a previous initial engagement, held in October, 2016.
The meeting was chaired by the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Communities, Emil Mc Garrell and was held at the Department of Housing’s Brickdam office, Georgetown.
Minister Bulkan said he welcomed the visit, as the Ministry was afforded the opportunity to further examine the technical aspects of the housing programme.
As discussions continued on the way forward between the Government and the IsDB, Minister Bulkan said this is in pursuance of the administration’s mandate to provide affordable housing in cohesive and sustainable communities. “It is understood that the first basic human need is the right to shelter and there is a deep and crying need from a large size of our population for housing,” Minister Bulkan said. Even more welcoming, Minister Bulkan stressed, is the fact that the Bank brings the conditions of both sympathy and, more importantly, empathy to this human need.
Meanwhile, the IsDB representative, Mr. Dia, said that Guyana has a great advantage as the proposed project conforms to the core values of the bank—integration, equality and restoring dignity, which are also the core values of Islam. “This bank is not only for Muslims, its genesis was formed in solidarity of Muslim countries and aims to bring communities together and keep them together under development, peace and dignity,” Dia outlined. Dia added that the IsDB is also committed to financing mainly non-traditional projects what seek to help those who may have been marginalised. “I reaffirm here our willingness to support the transformation of the housing sector as the notion of providing housing, adds to the social value of any society,” Dia added.
Meanwhile following a more detailed presentation of the proposal, several questions were raised by the visiting team spanning the issues of financing for beneficiaries, sensitisation and community involved for the purpose of data collection.
To this Minister with responsibility for Housing, Valerie Adams-Patterson outlined that already the Department of Housing has been selling the new ideas to applicants. She noted that while there was some reluctance as is the case with any new initiative, more and more persons are buying into the idea of apartment buildings, duplexes and the other housing solution initiatives being proposed. Further she noted that in May of 2017 the Guyanese public will be given the opportunity to see what some of the new housing solutions the administration will be offering with the launch of ‘Housing Solutions 2017 and Beyond”. At this forum life-size models will be built for display and purchase at the existing Perseverance Housing scheme.