Minutes of CHPA Statutory Meeting Held 26 November 2015

Item No. 2: Opening Remarks

 

  1. The Chairman welcomed members and said that he admired the energies that the members were putting into the work of the Board.

 

  1. b)   He alluded to the decision of the Board at a previous meeting to deal with the planning application   for two (2) hours prior to the actual statutory items.

 

Item No. 3: Consideration and Adoption of Minutes

 

  1. *** said that to save time and for those who were not able to peruse the minutes, suggested that the minutes be deferred and that members send to the Secretary their comments / amendments and have same ratified at the next statutory meeting. The Board concurred and a motion was moved by *** and seconded by ***.

 

Item No. 4: Consideration of Building, Land Use  and Land Subdivision Applications

 

Sch. No. Total No. of Applications No. Approved No. of Rejected No. Deferred
24 /15 24 22 2
25 / 15 25 24 1
31 /15 6 6
Total 55 52 3

  

Comments

Application No. P-3K/106/14 for planning permission to add to building for use as supermarket with the sale of off licence liquor at lot 7C New Road Vreed-en-Hoop, WCD was recommended for approval.

 

  1. a) The Chief Development Planner said that the agency did not have enough resource to have such statistical information since information had to start at the level of the Local Authorities and such information was not forth coming. *** opined that the NDCs should be incorporated into the whole operational process of CHPA.

 

  1. b) Mr Jacobs enquired whether the policy of the ¼ mile radius distance for the establishment of liquor shops were for the entire country. The Chief Development Planner said that the ¼ mile distance policy was mostly used in rural area, however, the central business district in Georgetown was guided by whether the liquor establishment was near a school or church, mosque or temple.

 

Application No. P-4DD/29/15 for planning permission to erect a three (3) storey building for use as Variety Store and Storage Bond at lot 107 Regent and Light Street, Georgetown was recommended for approval.

 

  1. a) The issue of parking came up. The Chief Development Planner said that when the Town Centre was revised parking was not required. He explained that in the review of development in Greater Georgetown, Cabinet had opposed to parking claiming it was anti-business, and as such in the central business district of Georgetown developers were allowed full plot coverage. He said that there was no tool at agency’s disposal to make parking enforceable. He said it was difficult to retrofit parking in the central business district.

 

  1. The Chairman acknowledged the Chief Development Planner’s statement but opined that that onsite parking should be recommended for a three (3) storey building.  The Chief Development Planner said where the development was in a better locational situation they would be required to provide parking.

 

  1. c) Mr Jacobs asked what would be CHPA’s position with political pressure to approve a building without a fire escape. The Chief Development Planner said that the regulations regarding such would be embraced. He agreed that the parking situation was not conducive in the city. He then made reference to Regent Street which is, the central business area in the city, and pointed out that there was no instrument to be able to get businesses to comply. However, he opined that the Development Plan for Georgetown and the regulatory tools to enforce plan must be stronger.

 

  1. d) Mr Jacobs asked who was responsible for ensuring the structural soundness of those massive buildings in and out of Georgetown. The Chief Development Planner said that it was the City Engineer who must ensure that all such requirements were met and for buildings in the rural the onus was on the Environmental Health Officer.

 

  1. f) *** said that more human resources was definitely needed to assist in the development of Guyana –  trained personnel. Have training session to help build capacity. The Chief Development Planner said that was needed not only at the level of CHPA but also at the NDCs. He said that the ideal situation was to have the Local Authorities be involved in certain planning aspects.

 

  1. g) Mr Jacobs asked how many planners were there in the department. The Chief Development Planner said that there were six (6) staff however, the reporting on planning application was just one aspect of their work. He said that he and the CEO could revisit the workload/staff complement for the Unit. Ms. Luke agreed in that more staff was needed to keeping with the guidelines of the agency.

 

  1. h) Mr Jordan said that another session would have to be arranged in order to expedite the applications but it would cost the agency. Mr Jacobs said that he was thinking in terms of the time reducing that the applications were submitted to the time they reached the Board.

 

  1. i) The subject of the processing fees was broached and the Board was informed told that highest amount for the processing fees was thirty thousand dollars ($30,000). After some discussion the Board concurred that the fees structure needed to be reviewed.

 

Application No. P-4PP/8/15 for planning permission to add bond for the storage of school bags and plastic ware at lot 46 A Shell Road Kitty was recommended for approval.

 

  1. After some discussion, the Chief Development Planner asked the Board to have the application deferred pending clarification by officer.

 

Application No. P-5C/20/15 for planning permission to establish a Recreation Park with swimming pool at lot 2 Farm village, WCB was recommended for approval.

 

  1. a)  ***said that EPA may have some issues with that particular development and as such she asked that the application be deferred pending a joint site visit be made. The Board concurred.

 

  1.  c)  The Chief Development Planner explained that previously the applications were referred to the EPA and Fire Department for the comments and recommendations. However, that process was very lengthy and as such developers would sometimes call the Minister and relay that the applications were taking too long to be processed. Hence, with the consent the then Board the Unit started to send the one copy of the application to the Fire Department and at the same time would bring it to the Board for consideration. He said that the developer would only be issued with his approval once the recommendations were received from the Fire Department.

 

  1. d)  *** proffered that although the planning department would have given approval, who ensured that those recommendations were being followed. He suggested that when the policy paper is presented, the Board would have a process of deliberation also table to Cabinet to ensure that those portfolios were met. Further, have interagency meeting and arrive at time frame to deal with applications and make recommendations on the way forward.

 

  1. e) The Chief Development Planner said that he would present a paper on the procedural aspect involving agencies such as the EPA and the Fire Department to the Board for review at next Statutory Meeting.  Mr Alli said that Chief Development Planner could include that some applications for serious investment could be given priority. The CEO said that the agencies would have to agree to operate within the stated time.

 

Application No. P-4G/267/14 for planning permission to regularize a light industrial use activity Welding Workshop at lot 15 Railway Embankment Ogle, ECD was recommended for approval.

 

  1. a) ***said that EPA may have some concerns about the above activity and as such she asked that the application be deferred pending seeking clarification on the activity. Mr Alli said that for certain types of developments there should be a combined approval process since other agencies may have concerns.

 

Application No. P-4G/9/15 for planning permission to erect a two stored building for residential use as multi family dwelling (3 units per floor) was recommended for approval.

 

  1. a)  *** asked what would be the case since the covenant of the transport was for single family   dwelling only. How would that impact on a person for a multi-family dwelling.

 

  1. b) Ms Jordan responded that the covenants in the transport had to be advertised and gazetted and as   such they were binding. Mr Alli asked if the covenant was deleted/omitted.

 

  1. Ms Jordan explained that once the ten years period had passed, the covenants that were pertinent to the transportee were taken out of the transport and only those relevant to the land would remain.

 

  1. *** asked whether schools were required to have certain dimensions. He opined that the buildings where some schools were held were not habitable for children. It was pointed out that those schools were operation without CHPA’s permission. He said that not because there were schools that were in operation without permission that others should be allowed.

 

  1. The CEO said that space for schools was catered for in the CHPA’s design layout and that CHPA worked with the Ministry of Education.  

 

  1. *** pointed to Application No. P-5F/43/14 for planning permission to erect a sawmill at Blk P Armadale, WCB, where it was indicated that the developer would dispose of waste by burning at the back of the lot. He opined that such a development would have to get EPA permit. *** said that before an Authorization, the site would have to be checked by EPA Officers  and the developer would be required to put in all the mitigating requirements as stipulated by EPA.

 

  1. *** asked whether there was a summary of applications such as how many processed, how may rejected and so on. The Chief Development Planner said such information was recorded by the Secretary as well as in the monthly reports and every quarterly (1/4) a trend analysis was reported on.

 

Item No.5: Consideration of Sub Committees

 

  1. The CEO said that in the remarks to the Board the Hon. Ronald Bulkan, Minister of Communities had mentioned that coming out of the Board, three (3) sub committees. However, the CEO said that needs to be some Terms of Reference for the under which the committees must function.

 

  1. *** said that the Hon Minister should be written to, seeking his directive on what was required for those sub- committees.

 

Item No:   Consideration of Financial Report

 

  1. Mr R Abrahim, Accountant presented the Financial Report for the month of October 2015.

      He reported the following.

  • Revenue Totaled –  $88.2M

Sale of Land – $58.5M

Sale of Turn Key House – $20.1M

Transport Fees – $546,000

Other Revenue Sources – $9M

 

  • Expenditure Totaled – $148.8M

Housing fund Projects – $130.5M

Employment Costs – $26.4M

Administration Costs – $10.2M

1000 Homes Project – $8.6M

 

  • Total Investments to date – $4.048B

Interest on Investment – $26,652M

 

  • Debt collection Unit

Collected from Allottees with outstanding Payments – $58.5M

Comments

 

  1. *** asked what were the reporting standards of CHPA, whether it was a cash based system or an accrual accounting system? The Accountant replied the agency operated on a cash basis – income and expenditure.

 

  1. *** said that the accrual concept was used for the preparation of the Authority’s Annual Financial Report for 2014. He said that members should be provided with monthly financial statement prepared on the accrual accounting concept which would give a financial position of income and expenditure as well as what monies were outstanding.

 

  1. In other words, the financial report of the Authority should be prepared under the International Financial Reporting Standards that required accrual accounting, that is, all cost incurred both paid and outstanding must be accounted for and similarly for revenue. He pointed out that the report indicated $58M in outstanding revenue but not how much revenue was actually outstanding.

 

  1. ***said that each project should be reported on separately which should include revenue sale of land, expenditure incurred from infrastructural works, and revenue even from government subsidies and what was outstanding against what were the actual budgeted amounts for each project.

 

***pointed out that there needed to be a separate report on IDB subventions or other special subventions.

 

  1. The Financial Report as presented gave an idea of cash in and cash out but at the end of the reporting year the report might reveal a horrendous financial position. The report needed to be presented in a structured manner, so that the Board would understand and be to articulate what was presented and could be able to advise government on housing financial position.

 

  1. The CEO informed the Board that the existing LIS Programme closed in June 2015 and there would be a smaller project in the pipe line, however, once that was approved it would be reported to the Board.

 

  1. The Accountant acknowledged *** comments and guidance and said that the reports would be prepared using the accrual concept.  

 

  1. *** noted that as lot of money was spent on roads and electricity. She enquired as to who ensures that the monies was allocated for those projects.

 

  1. The CEO explained that the engineers would prepare payment certificates for all contracts which were done on measured works basis. That information would be included by the contractor in his invoice for payment. The engineer would check the works and that was presented in the payment certificate form and signed off by the Supervisory Engineer for the specific the project and then payment would be sent to the CEO for approval.

 

  1. *** asked whether there was an oversight committee for all those projects to ensure that the works was executed correctly. She opined that lots of money was being spent and some mechanism must be in place to check on those projects.

 

  1. The CEO said that there was no separate consultant overseeing the projects, checks were done in house by the Supervisory Engineers of the Projects Department. However, that was something that could be looked at. The CEO added that the Projects Director would assign projects to the Supervisory Engineers and it was those Engineers who had oversight for the execution of the projects.

 

  1. ***asked whether the projects undertaken by the Authority was related the development of new housing schemes for drainage, infrastructure, electricity and roads. The CEO explained that was done for new and existing government housing schemes as well as regularized squatting areas. He asked whether that was an on-going or new programme for housing. The CEO said it was always an on-going programme which was done by CHPA.

 

  1. The CEO explained that in early times Housing Ministry was set up to do a lot of their own work. However, that was phased out, the reason was that the economy and the government did not the ability to continue along those lines, and as such the Ministry was phased out and CHPA operate as an autonomous body.

 

  1. The Chairman thanked the Accountant for his presentation.

 

Item No.6: Consideration of Progress Report – October 2015

 

The CEO sought the members’ comments on the progress report as presented.

 

  1. *** sought clarity on ‘the design layout for block ‘SS’ Sophia was amended’. The CEO explained that Sophia was a regularized squatter settlement.  However, before the commencement of regularization a block and a site and occupation survey would be done which would reflect how persons were occupying the land. The Planning Department would then attempt to use the occupation survey to prepare the design layout. In this case, it meant that the design layout was amended to accommodate some aspects of the on ground situation.

 

  1. ***said that within the context of Sophia there was ongoing development, so where was the agency with development in this area, how was it being structured, was the sections adequately developed? He continued that the Sophia was an area that was inland bound and there was on-going development how would access be facilitated to link with the public road, what were the consequences of continuing development vis-à-vis what areas of ingress and egress there are. He said that from a planning point of view those were very essential things. He said that as the agency developed areas, if there was no adequate structured planning, the end results would be problematic.

 

  1. He said that CHPA could look at Sophia as a case for the Board to work with to understand the approach being brought to bear in that area and going forward. He suggested that some monthly reports could be presented, on the Sophia, so as to bring the Board up to speed with the development of Sophia.

 

  1. The Chairman said that the Sophia area is a very large area and had to be regularised in sections to be able to hand it over to the City Council. He said that Sophia did not form part of the City Council because it was not handed over. Nevertheless, there were some residents that benefitted some of the facilities of the City Council. He cited that some persons wanted some facilities from the City Council in order to access loans from the bank so they went to the City council but the area not regularized and that the situation with Sophia. ***noted the Chairman comments, however, he said there must be a master plan for the entire Sophia that the Board could be made aware of.
  2. The CEO said that she had  seen in the media that the Ministry of Public Infrastructure announced that all the roads in Sophia would be done and that would augur well for CHPA and the City Council would be more amenable in taking it over and being responsible for it. Mr Alli said that it would be interesting to see the development plan for the approximately 4000 households coming out of Georgetown on a daily basis.

 

  1. *** said that there was a lot of activity going on for the development of house lots. She asked whether GWI and GPL were on board with the in terms of supplying the necessary infrastructure to the schemes, like Covent Gardens, Perseverance and Prospect.

 

  1. The CEO explained the CHPA has a good working relationship with GWI. She said that a technical interagency committee was established, where plans were shared with entities represented on the committee. Further, she said that GWI would pay for the wells and CHPA would be in charge of installing the water network in the schemes.

 

  1. The CEO said that there was a lag with GPL not being able to respond in the time that CHPA needed them to. As such CHPA had to take on that responsibility. However, GPL designed the electrical distribution networks and CHPA did the procurement and installation of the hardware so as to fast tract the work. That system has been quite successful. The CEO pointed out that electricity was one of the major factors for the low occupancy rate in some schemes.

 

  1. *** asked whether the agency had given any consideration to putting up prefabricated houses and making it affordable for poor people to have as starter houses. The CEO said that the agency has had lot of interest from investors to bring prefab housing to Guyana. However housing is a very contextual undertaking. She said that the prefab system was not quite suited for our climate which needed maximum light and air. Further, she said that the agency had a prefab model house constructed on Home Street Avenue and it was found to be extremely hot.

 

  1. The CEO said that there would have to be a range of options/solutions for low income persons. She said that the Core House Project was successful. However, if the agency was to proceed along those lines it was recommended that the houses be constructed entirely with concrete and not with two sides wood and two sides concrete as was done. She said the reason was that the wood that was used was not cured properly and when dried it would warped and left holes in the walls.

 

  1. *** said that the agency could have someone conduct research to ascertain some manufacturers I the Caribbean who would have prefab material suited for Guyana, taking the burden off the poor people. She adamant that there must be at least two or three solutions for poor people to own their own homes.

 

  1. The CEO said that would have to be a policy decision at a higher level. Also, importantly there would have to be a demand for that type houses by low income persons.

 

  1. In terms of the quality of houses and land, the CEO said that the agency was spreading resources too thinly.  The Chairman said that it seems to be a situation where trying to accomplish too much with too little resources.

 

  1. Mr Jacobs asked whether there was more land available. The CEO said that land was available and the agency was currently dealing with applications from 2012 and prior.  She said that the new thrust was to make lots serviceable, cohesive and sustainable. However, the agency had moved towards consolidation – the sale of land and house.

 

  1. ***said that the CHPA should have discussion with GPL to ascertain whether they had the capacity to service the various areas. Further, he said they could be asked to provide estimate on usage in those areas and compare to present demand flow.

 

  1. He suggested that the technical reports could be divided –   old government schemes and new government schemes and have a report before the Board, at least quarterly, of what occupancy was and the level of completeness in the various areas so that the Board would be kept of what the agency’s impediments might be and be able to deal with them. The CEO said that in terms of occupancy the agency’s data base would be updated twice a year.

 

  1. ***continued that there was not much information in the report on the agency’s other responsibilities. He noted that report dealt exhaustively with schemes and asked about the agency responsibility under the Town and Country Planning Act 20:01 for existing areas. He said those were some the things that should be included in the report.

 

Item No. 7: Consideration of Grant for Incremental Credit – Master’s Qualification

 

  1. Ms Lavern Sansculotte, Human Resource Manager presented to the Board the following for consideration for award for increment for Masters Qualification:

 

  Mr Andre Ally – Head of Information Communications Technology effective October    2011, and is the holder of the Microsoft Certification .

  He successfully completed the Masters in Business Administration programme from Australian Institute of Business facilitated by Nations University (Guyana) in June 2015.

 

  In keeping with the Public Service Ministry with respect to payment of salary to holders of Master’s Degree and Post graduate /Graduate Diploma, consideration was sought for Mr Ally to be awarded 20% of the minimum of Band 3.

 

  Mr Ally was in receipt of salary of three hundred and thirty thousand, seven hundred and fifty dollars ($330,750). As such approval was sought for Mr Ally to be paid salary at the rate of three hundred and eighty nine thousand dollars ($389,000) per month on Band 13 with effect from October 1, 2015.

 

         Mr Ramkumar Ramnarine – Civil Engineer from March 2013 and is the holder of a Bachelor   of Engineering (Civil) from the University of Guyana.

He successfully completed the Masters in Business Administration programme from A   Australian Institute of Business facilitated by Nations University (Guyana) in August 2015.

 

    In keeping with the Public Service Ministry with respect to payment of salary to holders of Master’s Degree and Post graduate /Graduate Diploma, consideration was sought for Mr Ramnarine to be awarded 20% of the minimum of Band 3.

 

Mr Ramnarine was in receipt of salary of two hundred and ninety one thousand, two hundred and forty eight dollars ($291,248). As such approval was sought for Mr Ramnarine to be paid salary at the rate of three hundred and forty nine thousand, four hundred and ninety eighty dollars ($349, 498) per month on Band 13 with effect from October 1, 2015.

 

  Ms Donelle Bascom – Senior Community Development Officer with effect from October 2011 and is a holder of a Bachelor of Social Science (Sociology) from the University of Guyana.

  She successfully completed the Masters in Applied Community change sponsored by CHPA through the IDB/LIS Programme, in September 2015.

 

  In keeping with the Public Service Ministry with respect to payment of salary to holders of Master’s Degree and Post Graduate /Graduate Diploma, consideration was sought for Ms Bascom to be awarded 20% of the minimum of Band 13.

 

  Ms Bascom was in receipt of salary of three hundred and twenty three thousand, one hundred and ninety dollars ($323,190). As such approval was sought for Ms Bascom to be paid salary at the rate of three hundred and eighty one thousand, four hundred and forty dollars ($381,440) per month on band 13 with effect from October 1, 2015.

 

  1. ***said that once executive management agreed that everything was in order and all conditions were met, for which the recommendations were made then had would have no as such he had no objection to the officers being  awarded increments for the Masters Qualification.  The CEO said that the requests were in order.

 

  1. Mr Jacobs pointed out the there was no mention of one of the officer having a bachelor’s degree. ***interjected and sought clarification on whether the Microsoft Certification was same as a   Bachelor’s degree. The HRM said that she had that clarified and it was equivalent.

 

  1. The Board had no objections for Mr Andre Ally, Mr Ramkumar Ramnarine and Ms Donelle Bascom to be paid Incremental Credit for their Master’s Qualification as per the above request.

 

Item No. 8:  Consideration of Reports on Pilferage at CHPA Office in New Amsterdam and Demolition of Building in Lethem

 

Alleged Pilferage at CHPA Office, Region No.6

 

  1. The CEO informed the Board that it was reported that on Saturday September 26th 2015 there was a breach of security at the Regional Housing Office, New Amsterdam. At team was dispatched to visit the area and to conduct investigations, namely:

 Mr Ronald Backer – Political Assistant to the Minister of State

 Sergeant Barnett – State Assets Recovery

 Ms Lavern Sansculotte – Human Resource Manager

 Mr David Lord – Enforcement and Investigating Officer III

 

  1. The team proceeded to the location (RDC Compound in Region  No. 6) which houses the CHPA Regional Housing Office and met with Ms Umawattie Harripersaud, Regional Housing Officer (RHO) and Ms Mala Rasdharry, Typist Clerk. The RHO told the team  that she had received a telephone call from another staff member, Mr Etwaru, who informed her of the break-in. She said she had gone to the site and had observed evidence of a break-in and that one laptop and an iron safe containing four hundred (400) transports and titles was missing. She reported that she alone was entrusted with the keys to the safe while the other two staff members knew the combination to the safe but the safe required the key to be unlocked.

 

  1. The Site Supervisor of the Home Safe Security who secures the Regional Office said that  seven (7) security guards were usually assigned to the location but on the night in question only two officers had reported for duty.                                                                             

 

  1. It was noted that the team had instructed the Regional Housing Officer to close the office for one week and to inform the public. However, Minister Scott had request that the office be reopened.

 

  1. The CEO reported that no report had been received from the police on their findings however, Inspector Watts had indicated via telephone that the report would be finalized and submitted to CHPA by Monday November 30, 2015.

 

Comments

 

  1. *** asked what actions were taken by CHPA in lieu of a police report and based on internal investigation because according to the report it was business as usual. Also what measures are being put in place to avoid a re-occurrence of this and to ensure that proper systems are put in place? She opined that the fixing what was broken was not adequate in such a situation. She said that safety measures should be put in place not in Region no. 6, but also in the other regions.

 

  1. The CEO said that ideally things like those should be stored in a vault even in CHPA current location was no way suited to our functions.  She informed the Board that last year CHPA got Cabinet’s approval to occupy a portion of the Durban Park area for the construction of a functional headquarters.

 

  1. *** suggested that for safe keeping the documents could be stored at a bank temporarily until the situation was resolved. The CEO said that in such a case there would need have a structure as how persons would come to uplift their transports/titles because persons came on a daily basis to uplift their documents.

 

  1. *** asked if there were copies of the transports/titles at CHPA in the event that someone got hold of the transport or title and tried to use it. Ms Jordan said that there was a list of the transport/tiles at the CHPA as well as the Land and Deeds Registries and The Republic Bank. Ms Luke said that the information should be sent to all banks.

 

  1. *** suggested that if there was no response from the Police Officer, the Commissioner of Police should be written so that the matter could be expedited in order for CHPA to be able to make a decision.

 

  1. Mr Jacobs enquired as to why so many transports/titles were in storage. *** interjected that persons would complain that transports/titles were taking too long to be issued by CHPA and yet there were approximately four hundred transport/titles in storage.

 

 

  • Ms Jordan said that a lot of the transport/titles were not uplifted due to deaths, persons overseas, not interested were some of the reasons that contributed to the large amount of transport/titles being in storage. She further said that CHPA would hold mini One Stop Shops so that persons would be able to uplift their transports/titles. Call-in letter were sent and telephones made to allottees for them uplift their transport/titles.

 

 

  1. Mr Jacobs asked what were some of the possibilities of a person using a stolen transport/title. Ms Jordan said a person would have to do some diligent search to ascertain whether the lot was vacant and the see what they can possibly do thereafter.

 

  1. *** asked whether titles were processed even though payment not completed. Ms Jordan said that was so and was a policy decision of the government at that time. However, in order to uplift the transports/titles the allottee would have to make full payment.

 

 

  • The CEO said that management had discussed moving towards agreeing that the agency should not process the documents until full payments were made. She said that the agency understood the previous policy makers were coming from but the system had to be managed the system and it did not augur well to have transport/titles process and waiting for allottees to come in and uplift their documents.

 

 

 

  • ***said that a recommendation should come from management on the way forward in this matter and if they needed support in approaching government given its policy decision the Board would make recommendations.

 

 

 

  • Mr Jordan said that he had heard over time that transports/titles were not being processed in a timely and persons were not able to uplift as they were told that the transport/titles were held up at some lawyers office or something and to hear that some many transport/titles were lying in the office was somewhat surprising to him.

 

 

 

  • ***said that management should present to the Board the status of the transport/titles so that the when members are approached they would be armed with the relevant information.

 

 

  1. The Chairman said that the matter was referred back to management for their recommendations and direction on the way forward.

            

Demolition of Building at Tabitinga, Lethem

 

  1. The above matter was reported to the Board by Mr Lester Kitt, Investigation/Enforcement Officer II, of CHPA.  He informed the Board that in 2012 CHPA’s Investigators/Enforcement Officers along with the Surveying team had conducted a house to house inventory within Tabitinga, Lethem. He said that the inventory unearthed irregularities. However, one of the matters that gained the attention of the Investigators was that one Mr Kampta Narine – a businessman who has several children and siblings residing within Lethem.

 

  1. Mr Kitt reported that during a period of mass squatting Mr Kampta Narine had caused ten (10) small concrete structures to be constructed on ten (10) commercial lots which he had his children and siblings applied to CHPA for. The applications were processed and approval was granted for payments to be made. However, when it was realized that the system was manipulated, the payments were put on hold pending investigation.

 

  1. The investigation revealed that the ‘allottees’ had extended their structures and/or demolished the small structures and were erecting large commercial steel and concrete structures. Contravention Notices were served on the ‘allottees’ by the Regional Housing Officer. However, Mr Kampta Narine did not comply.

 

  1. Recently, The Hon. Minister Keith Scott and a team visited Lethem and the IMC headed by Mr Beckles informed the team that sections of the buildings on two lots owned by Mr Kampta narine and Sandy Narine were constructed on government reserve. The IMC then requested that the Hon. Minister send a team to demolish the structures. As such a team visited Lethem and notices were served on the ‘allottees’ to demolish the structures with immediate effect. Instruction was given for the portions of the buildings which were on the reserve to be demolished. The IMC, Police and the GPL were so informed. However apart from GPL personnel the police and the IMC members showed little interest in assisting the team with machinery and protection to be able to carry out the demolition exercise.

 

  1. On October 9th 2015 the team proceeded with the demolition while that exercise was in progress, Mr Beckles requested that the men cease their operations. However, he was told that such a directive had to come to them from Hon Minister Keith Scott through their supervisor Mr David Lord. However, Mr Lord subsequently received a call through Mr Beckles from Hon Mr Ronald Bulkan, Minister of Communities instructing them to cease the demolition and return to Georgetown.

 

  1. Mr Kitt reported that a follow up investigation revealed that almost all of the IMC members had squatted on more than two house lots. Concerns were also raised about the amount of Chinese investors operating businesses to the front of the commercial zone.

 

Comments

  1. In response to the Chairman, Mr Kitt said that payment was made to the CHPA staff would visit the area to receive payments from allottees, among other things.

 

  1. ***said that a full report with recommendations should be presented to the Board by Management. He said that the Board would need to understand the status of the housing situation in Lethem.

 

  1. Mr Kitt said that some of the areas have been regularised and some areas were still in process. Ms Heywood said that it was not too late for CHPA to take decisive action.

 

  1. The Chairman what should come to the Board was what management  intend to do about the situation involving Mr Narine and also what further plan was there to bring the entire situation under control.

 

  1. *** said that too much work went into the establishing that commercial area and that she did not appreciate the fact that instructions came from higher authority when it was the Board that should have dealt that the issue. She said that in future she would not be a part of such process. She was adamant that something went wrong in the CHPA system because that commercial zone was strictly a zero tolerance area for squatting.

 

  1. Mr Jacobs asked the officer whether he was in constant contact with persons in Lethem to ascertain whether works were still ongoing. Mr Kitt said that the week prior to that week the Regional Housing Officer had reported that works had stopped.  

 

  1. The Chairman concluded that the Board was requesting that management follow up the matter with a report of the recommendations and directions on the way forward in resolving the situation.

 

Item No.  Correspondence

There were no correspondences.

 

Item No.  Any Other Business

Procurement of Projector

  1. The CEO informed the Board that the current projector was at the end of its life cycle and as such quotations were sourced from NT Computeac ($408,153), Micro Design Technology ($423,504) and Massy Technologies ($411,800).

 

  1. As such she sought the Board’s approval for the expenditure of four hundred and eight thousand, one hundred and fifty three dollars ($408,153). for the purchase of a projector from NT Computeac being the lowest quotation.

 

  1. The Board  considered and approved by way of resolution the expenditure of four hundred and eight thousand, one hundred and fifty three dollars ($408,153) for the purchase of  a projector from NT Computeac.

 

Publication of Notice

  1. The CEO informed the Board that at a previous meeting a notice re: informing the public that CHPA would soon initiate a comprehensive review of the prevailing land use characteristics within the City of Georgetown particularly as it relates to the many instance of incompatible land uses which have negative impacts on the environmental. The General objective of the exercise would be to inform the preparation of new land use control policies (inclusive of zoning policies). As such the public was advised that it was required by Law that planning permission from the CHPA had to be obtained before the commencement of any building operation or change of use of land or building.

 

  1. The CEO said that the Chairman, Mr Hamilton Green as well as the Minister had also perused it and gave their concurrence. As such the CEO sought the Board approval to have the Notice published in the print media. The Board had no objection to the notice being published.

 

  1. *** said that Williamsburg South was regularized, however, the Town Council was not able to collect rates and taxes since the area was not handed over to the Council.  The CEO said that the matter was being looked into. Ms Heywood said that Angoys Avenue was in the same position.

 

There being no other business the meeting ended at 3:40 p.m.

 

Moved: Seconded:

 

Secretary: Chairman:

 

CENTRAL HOUSING AND PLANNING AUTHORITY

Lot 41 Brickdam and United Nations Place

Stabroek, Georgetown

 

11th December, 2015

 

Chairman and Board Members

CH&PA

 

Dear Sir / Madam

 

             Re: Statutory Meeting of the Central Housing and Planning Authority

 

Notice is hereby given for a Statutory Meeting of the Central Housing and Planning Authority  scheduled for the  Thursday, 17th December, 2015 in the Central Housing and Planning Authority

Boardroom, Head Office, 41 Brickdam and United Nations Place, Georgetown, at 10:00 a.m.

 

The Agenda is as follows:

 

  1. Call to order, National Pledge and Prayer

 

  1. Opening Remarks

 

  1. Consideration of Minutes of meeting held 29th October and 26th November, 2015.

 

  1. Consideration of Financial Report for November 2015.

 

  1. Consideration of Progress Report for November 2015

 

  1. Consideration of Management Transfer of Parliament Square from CH&PA to M&CC.

 

  1. Correspondence

 

  1. Any Other Business and  Closure

 

Please make every effort to attend.

 

Sincerely,

 

……………………

Secretary Central Housing and Planning Authority

 

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s