On Monday, May 16, 2022 His Excellency President Dr. Mohamed Irfaan Ali, announced new measures to boost the housing and construction sector. These initiatives, which follow consultations with Guyanese, include the establishment of a Home Construction Assistance Facility and the removal of Value Added Tax (VAT) on specific construction materials.
See the President’s announcement on the housing sector below:
Home Construction Assistance Facility
“In order to help Guyanese families who have a Government allocated or privately owned house lot -not necessarily in a Government developed housing scheme- but who have thus far been unable to build on their lot, the Government is proposing to launch a Home Construction Assistance Facility, which will work in the following manner:
> Persons who have a house lot and wish to receive Government help to construct a home on that lot may register their interests with a unit that will be establishing soon for this purpose. At the time of registration the applicant will also select the preference from among three standard pre-designed models at the cost of $7 million, $9 million and $12 million depending on the applicant income level.
>Government will support the applicant through the process of applying for bank financing, to meet the cost of constructing the home and would also look at helping in the initial phase of construction by the releasing of resources to expedite the construction process and help in bringing the banks and the homeowners together so that you can own your own home
>The Government will also undertake the construction of home on behalf of the applicant and deliver to the applicant a complete home in accordance with the option selected. We expect that this measure will help drastically accelerate the capacity of Guyanese families to own and occupy their own home and house lots they’ve already owned or that they have been allocated but on which they are currently having difficulties managing the complex process of homeownership and also having access to financing.
This measure in relation to owning your own home and housing has many benefits: 1) it would increase the occupation level in existing housing schemes, it will reduce dependency on rental it would accelerate home ownership, it will accelerate more activities in the construction sector, it will make it easier for persons to get financing to build their homes where the Government will be partnering with the prospective homeowners, the banks and the contractors in delivering an end product i.e. a home to the respective families.
We have seen over the last few months tremendous interest in the Government constructed homes or houses and our ability to service that interest has driven to this conclusion; that there is a great need in the society for prospective homeowners to have a one stop or a comprehensive solution and this measure aims at doing this. Taking away the burden from the perspective homeowner of going to the bank and getting themselves qualified, all of this will be brought on the under one umbrella one home ownership management umbrella to make it easier to own your own home.
Removal of VAT from Sheetrock & Concrete Boards
The next measure I wish to announce is the removal of VAT on additional construction material. As you know, we have already removed VAT on a wide range of basic construction material. Most recently we remove VAT on cement to reduce the cost of this critical input in home construction. We are now proposing to extend the removal of VAT to sheetrock and concrete boards until the market stabilizes. This measure is expected to cost $100 million annually but will provide critical additional relief to persons constructing their homes in keeping with our government’s strong commitment to make homeownership affordable for every single Guyanese family.”