Minister within the Housing and Water Ministry Susan Rodrigues on Thursday lauded local banks for their efforts to approve mortgages for applicants at the Building Expo which was held back in July.
She said government is collaborating with banks to foster growth and development in the housing sector.
The Minister was the time speaking at the launch of Steel Buildings Guyana Inc’s pre fab homes under the umbrella of Hits and Jams, in Queenstown, Georgetown.
She singled out the National Building Society (NBS) for pre-qualifying over 500 persons. The financial institution has already approved 302 mortgages from July to date, amounting to over $2 billion.
Meanwhile, the Guyana Bank for Trade and Industry (GBTI) has approved 145 mortgages to the tune of $1.7 billion.
“Look at how many Guyanese are on their way to ownership. These are the facts. This is not just us speaking about delivering housing or delivering house lots or home ownership to people. These are actual figures from the banks.”
She noted further, that Guyanese ‘have the confidence of the economy’ and are taking advantage of the investment climate since banks have lowered their interest rates significantly.
Minister Rodrigues encouraged persons to take advantage of the banks’ low interest rates which will allow more people to own their homes.
“Now, you can access a low-income mortgage for as low as 3.8 per cent. It has never been that low before.”
The Minister praised the investments and partnership between the banks, ministry, and Guyanese to develop the housing sector.
“The bank is with the government on the ground to meet the people and providing the opportunities for you to access financing. So that you could own your own home. So, it is a partnership that we are investing in.”
Making brief remarks, Minister of Housing and Water, Collin Croal, reiterated that the government has allocated 15,000 house lots so far. Importantly, part of the ministry’s micro plan for the next five years is not only to allocate lands but to provide affordable homeownership.
He said the housing sector needs support, investment, and partnerships to thrive.
“As a necessity, we need partners which will obviously be part of the drive for innovations to ensure that we have growth and we will also help the tourism sector.”
Minister Croal alluded to the International Building Expo which has shown ‘new and exciting developments’. He said the expo provided the opportunity to engage existing, upcoming, and new stakeholders. The minister noted that everyone should take advantage of the opportunities to enhance the housing sector.
Importantly, Minister Rodrigues emphasised on the employment that Hits and Jams’ housing project will create for Guyanese.
Minister of Culture, Youth, and Sports, Charles Ramson; Technical Engineer of Light Gauge Guyana, Nicholas Belle; Staff from Citizens’ Bank; and Deputy Director of the Guyana Tourism Authority, Kamrul Baksh also attended the launch.