All the government duplexes, be it single or flat, concrete or wooden, will cost $6.8 million, Minister within the Ministry of Communities, Valerie Adams- Patterson said Wednesday.
The CH&PA constructed six duplexes at the Perseverance Housing Scheme, East Bank Demerara (EBD,) which were on display and for sale at the recently concluded Housing Solution 2017 and Beyond Exposition.
Minister Adams-Patterson explained that CH&PA only decided on the cost of the units on Tuesday.
“We decided that the duplexes, all the options, will be given the same price.” She noted that the price settled on of $6.8M ($6.5M for the house and $300,000 for the land) is “way below what CHPA spent to build the houses. But we recognise that they are model houses and the persons who will be given those houses really should consider themselves special because I have given it the lowest possible price, Minister Patterson was quoted as saying by the Government Information Agency (GINA).
Minister Adams-Patterson explained that CH&PA chose to price both the concrete and wooden duplexes at the same value, for the reason that just about $500,000 would have separated the cost of building the two units. Noting that, lumber used to construct the wooden duplex, was just $500,000 less than the cost of building the concrete units.
She explained that initially, the land on which the duplexes were constructed was priced at $500,000. “If you look across to the Turn Key houses, those occupants had to pay $500,00o, so I broke it down to $300,000,” the minister explained.
CH&PA had also constructed two single elevated units, at the Perseverance location for the exposition. Minister Adams-Patterson explained that the price for these will be $7M; $6.5M for the house and $500,000 for the land.
She said that CH&PA chose not to reduce the cost for that land that the single elevated units were built on, “because it’s an entire house and persons have the option of enclosing the down stairs if they so desire,” the minister highlighted.
In determining the prices for the unit, the government has subsidised the cost for the land and taken onboard the cost for infrastructure for duplexes. Each unit will cost government over $2M, Adams-Patterson explained.
In an earlier interview with the DPI/GINA, Chief Executive Officer(CEO,) of CH&PA Lelon Saul had indicated that the actual cost of the units is twice the cost for what they are being sold. “Because we would have used the best of the local woods, it influenced the actual cost for the buildings, so what we intend to do in the future, maybe the internal works in the building in the floor perhaps, we might use some other form of hardwood instead of greenheart and for the external work, the cladding, we would use greenheart and perhaps we could reduce some of the size of the lumber to bring down the cost a little without compromising the integrity of the buildings,” the CEO had explained.
On the issue of financing, Minister Adams-Patterson said that CH&PA is engaging the banks to get them onboard. “I can say Republic Bank is already onboard. Now that we have settled on the price we are now going to do a pre-qualification for those who have registered and we are going to issue letters to them, which they will take to the bank and whoever the bank qualifies will get the houses,” she said.
Minister Adams-Patterson reiterated that the government does have the ability to meet all the people’s expectations and demand. Therefore, CH&PA will be engaging the private sector to build some of the models.
As for the single houses which were constructed by the private developers at Perseverance, which were on display and for sale during the exposition, Minister Adams-Patterson reiterated that “the exhibitors are responsible for their own pricing.”
A direct spinoff of the expo has seen a renewed interest in the CH&PA’s housing solutions since over 3000 persons applied during the Expo for units.
The data collected from the expo is expected to guide this effort. It will also impact future government housing solutions being offered to the public, when government moves to construct more single units and duplexes across the regions.