Guyana ready to partner with St Lucia to drive its housing industry – Pres. Ali

The content originally appeared on: INews Guyana
An aerial view of a housing scheme under development in Guyana

President, Dr Mohamed Irfaan Ali has promoted the competence and capacity of Guyana’s housing drive in St Lucia and has signalled his country’s readiness to help the housing deficit there.

The Guyanese leader was at the time addressing the Parliament of St Lucia on Wednesday, as the country observed its 45th year as an independent nation.

With regional leaders looking inwardly for their supply of food and other necessities in the various sectors, President Ali noted that Guyana’s housing drive is a testament to the capacity that has been built in the past three years.

He said should Guyana and St Lucia formulate an agreement to upgrade and extend the housing market in St Lucia, it would not be an uncommon trade relation, as over US $140 million has been traded between the two nations in the last decade.

“In the last 10 years, if you look at our trade numbers, Guyana would have exported commodities to the tune of US $71 million to St Lucia. Interestingly, St Lucia would have exported to Guyana, products at a cost of US $79 million,” he stated.

Although St Lucia’s exports to Guyana would have exceeded Guyana’s to St Lucia, President Ali is confident that his country can earn more from St Lucia in a more contracted period than 10 years, by catering to the country’s housing market.

“If you look at your existing housing market, and let us say conservatively that you have a deficit in your housing market of 2,500 in the next three to five years, and you use a conservative figure of US$30,000 for a low-income home…That is what we are building in Guyana. You are looking at an export potential of US $75 million in the immediate and medium-term from Guyana to St Lucia,” President Ali further emphasised.

As such, President Ali affirmed that the time is right to create the enabling environment that would allow this opportunity to become a reality.

Even as Guyana looks to expand housing solutions beyond its borders, there is an ambitious and aggressive housing drive locally.

On the promise to distribute 50,000 house lots in five years, the government is on track to fulfilling that commitment, as more than 30,000 families have been allocated house lots to date.

Importantly, the Ministry of Housing and Water is constructing houses for low-income families, as well as those for young professionals. Together with subsidies for steel and cement and low interest rates for mortgages, the housing sector has catapulted tremendously.