Demand for house lots outpacing availability -says Housing Minister

Demand for house lots outpacing availability -says Housing Minister

While the government has indicated that it is on track to keep its promise of providing 50,000 new house lots in five years, it is now faced with the challenge of thousands of new applications being added to the system.

During his address at the opening of the International Building Expo on Thursday, Minister of Housing and Water, Collin Croal said while the government is trying to clear the backlog of the applications in the system, the demand for lands for residential and commercial purposes continues to grow.

He said “migration and the formation of new families have outpaced urban housing supply and these factors have pushed people into outlying areas and informal settlements that are vulnerable to climate risks and which also contribute to environmental degradation or the loss of biodiversity of some kind or the other”.

Minister of Housing and Water – Collin Croal

Persons who were allocated lands continue to complain about the long wait to access the lands to begin their home construction. The Minister said the matter is being addressed.

He noted that while the promise of delivering 10,000 house lots annually has been going smoothly, the demand for more house lots has forced the government to also include building and handing over complete houses to citizens as well as regularizing a number of informal settlements.

“For 2023 alone, we have allocated in this year over 4,600 residential lots, 115 commercial lots, we have regularized 224 informal lots, established 15 new housing developments right here on the East Bank and the East Coast since the last expo,” Mr. Croal boasted.  

He admitted that while the sector has had notable challenges, it also has its fair share of successes.

Minister Croal highlighted the difficulty that citizens encounter at times while conducting their transactions at the Ministry. He said the single window system which will be introduced soon, will see applications for housing and other transactions be submitted from anywhere in the world, and persons will also receive real time updates.

‘The Housing sector is changing, demand is outpacing supply and we recognize that we have to work even faster to keep up,” Mr. Croal noted.

Over 2000 house lots are expected to be allocated at the Expo, bringing the total allocation to 27,000 in three years, the Housing Minister said.

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