Hard for the poor to build a house
Stabroek News
March 16, 2002

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Dear Editor,

As I was reading the Chronicle and looking at the classified ads section under the headlines 'To let' and 'Properties for sale', I found the prices very high.

A one bedroom apartment is offered for $20,000.00 per month, two bedrooms $30,000.00, three bedrooms $40,000.00 and even for a single room $10,000.00 or higher.

Looking under the properties for sale, the prices were 1 million and higher. My salary is about basic $20,000.00 per month. There are many people out there like me who will have to live in rented houses for the rest of their lives, and even paying the rent is costly.

Now the government has been giving out house lots, which I think is very good, and getting small loans through the banks to build a house is good too. But I still cannot afford it. No matter how small the loan is, I still have to pay back the loan, I still have to pay rent, while the house is being built, and I still have to pay the people who are building the house and I have to buy the materials to build the house. And I still have to pay for electricity and water and phone.

What the government should have done is to build low cost houses themselves and offer it to very poor people, and let the people pay back through the Ministry of Housing. I hear some of the banks have refused to give loans to people whose salary is very small.

These are my suggestions to help the poor to buy a house.

Yours faithfully,

Steven Farnum