The Ministry of Communities today said that it is challenged and worried by the large number of unoccupied allotted house lots in schemes where billions of dollars were spent on developing necessary infrastructure.
Communities Minister, Ronald Bulkan explained at a press conference that an evaluation of house lot allocations dating back to the year 2000, has led the Ministry and the Central Planning and Housing Authority to scale back on the allocation of house lots and begin the construction of housing units that will be readily available for occupancy.
From a total of 4927 interviews conducted in 2017, the CH&PA only issued 1131 house lots with Region #4 accounting for the majority of 3122 interviews and 513 allocations.
Minister Bulkan, speaking at the Ministry’s year-end press conference, said between 2000 and 2015 from an approximate total of 66,000 house lots allocated, some 28,000 or 40% remain unoccupied.
He further explained that during 2011 and 2015, 38 new schemes were developed which made available 20,000 house lots. He said the Ministry was confronted with over 80% of those lots remaining unoccupied.
In keeping this these trends, he said the Ministry is moving to change the way it provided housing to citizens and instead of continued allocation of lots, it is looking at building more units for homeowners.
This, Bulkan believes will allow for immediate occupancy as the government continues its investment in providing road, electricity, and water to residents.
The Minister said the non-occupancy of allotted house lots were posing significant challenges for the CH&PA and also reveals other deeper problem within the sector, which may include a lack of access to disposable income.
“It makes no sense we spend to put in infrastructure and there is poor occupancy in thee areas,” he said.
Bulkan said the trend brought into question the sustainability of the model of housing development used by the previous administration as he reiterated this government’s thrust to build housing units, thereby providing a more immediate form of occupancy.
The CH&PA said it will continue to meet with persons who have applications in the system to ensure they are provided with housing in a timely manner.