– even though 60,000 active applications pendingSince taking office in 2015, the A Partnership for National Union/Alliance for Change (APNU/AFC) Government has significantly reduced the number of house lots being distributed, despite the increasing demand by citizens.CH&PA Operations Director Denise King-TudorAt a press brief on Monday, Operations Director of the CH&PA, Denise King-Tudor, stated that the agency has seen a significant increase in interest shown by persons for house lots.“In fact, what has happened, the interest that has been shown by the public in terms of acquiring lands from Government, we would have achieved, in terms of new applicants coming in the system 6412 new applicants and we would have interviewed 6784,” she said.Turn-key homes which were constructed under the PPP AdministrationThis figure has brought the total number of active applications for house lots to over 60,000. King-Tudor admitted that the agency has a far way to go in terms of delivering its mandate to the public.“Some of the challenges that we have, there are some new areas that we have already…the designs are out and we are expecting to proceed to the point where we would allocate some of those lots to persons who have been waiting. And the thing about it, it will always be a demand and supply issue. The demand is always greater than the supply. We at the agency have been using the number of applications to say that is the demand. But we are aware that we need to do some further work because it’s not a case because you apply that is to say you really need it right now. And so that is why I was saying that we are planning to review…to do some further assessments in order for us to be able to decide if we’re going to be allocating 2000 on an annual basis or 3000 and that sort of thing,” she explained.She further stated that despite the increasing demand for house lots, the CH&PA lowered the target figure for house lot allocations for 2019 compared to the previous year. The target for 2019 was set at a mere 1000 with 1298 house lots being allocated.“In fact, last year we had a higher target and we reduced it. But this year, we’re grateful that we’ve been able to achieve what was set out,” King-Tudor stated.A comparison of previous years shows that there has been a vast reduction in the number of house lots distributed annually since the APNU Government took office in 2015.In 2016, 2020 house lots were allocated with the target being a mere 1100 for that year. In 2017, the Annual Report of the CH&PA showed that a total of only 1131 house lots were allocated for qualified applicants.The report stated that the original target of allocations for that year was just a mere 1000. This represented a major decrease in house lot allocations as well as reduced target figures from the previous years.Thus, these figures are pale in comparison to the number of house lots distributed in previous years under the former People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) Administration. In the CH&PA’s 2013 Annual Report, its programme performance assessment had indicated that 4417 house lots were allocated, just shy of the target of 5900.The backlog of applicants waiting for house lots has been a consistent problem that the CH&PA has been unable to get under control. In 2018, the agency had announced that nine new housing areas would be developed the following year.However, the house lots being distributed are in stark contrast to times when in excess of 4000 house lots were once distributed by the authority when former Housing Minister Irfaan Ali was at the helm.Under the previous PPP/C Administration, over 100,000 house lots were distributed and over 200 core houses were made available to underprivileged families, while a programme for professional groups provided 200 teachers, nurses and policemen with fast track access to loans for home construction.There is also the 1000 Homes Project that was launched in June of 2013 by the CH&PA to expand the Housing Ministry’s Turn-Key Houses programme that recommenced in 2011. Construction began in May of 2014 and by December of 2014, 100 Buttercup Cottages were completed.Apart from the houses themselves, this project provided employment opportunities for over 300 skilled and semi-skilled workers in the construction industry.