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Lands Minister promises 10,000 more house lots after 20 thousand delivered in three years – but where are the houses?

Posted: Friday, March 22, 2024. 9:20 am CST.

By Aaron Humes: Deputy Prime Minister Cordel Hyde questioned the “gains” Leader of the Opposition Moses “Shyne” Barrow spoke of while reiterating how much Belize has advanced in the three years of the John Briceño administration, while still having much further to go.

Hyde, the Minister for Natural Resources, shared a story of a trip to a house on the campaign trail and recounted watching a teenage girl shrink from him as her mother took him on a tour of their broken-down house, which made him recall his humble origins – when he was too ashamed even to tell the girls where he lived because it was broken down.

Fortunately, his situation was resolved at 12 years old, and now, he said, it is his responsibility to make sure that girl, about the same age as he was, fulfills her dreams: “I want to make sure that she gets a concrete house, that she gets to have pride and not be ashamed, and feel confident and get to go to the places where she wants to go in life – get to study hard and do well and get a job and further her education and do all the great things that her parents want for her. That she doesn’t have to be ashamed. But I wonder about all the other kids who won’t be so lucky, that may spend all their lives in a makeshift house – what happens to that spirit, that person, that child that grows up to be a woman – what happens to her children?”

Turning to Minister responsible for Housing Julius Espat, Hyde declared that “this is the year” that the Government will invest in more houses and home improvement because, he said, this is what the PUP does. It’s about fighting the “dehumanization” of poverty, he said, and how it kills and destroys the spirit. The PUP, he said, must avoid the trap of letting power get to their heads and remain in the spirit of George Price and social justice – a team effort led by the Prime Minister.

And the bedrock of that policy is providing land, of which there has been a lot according to Hyde, resulting in massive wealth transfer: “At the ministry in just three years we have provided 20 thousand lots to Belizeans, to first-time land owners, in just forty months, 500 lots a month and guess how much we will survey this year to issue – another 10,000. So, the flood, the deluge of house lots will not stop, and this is the achievement that makes us most proud of the ministry. It transforms the beneficiary. It is not just about a lot to build a house. You can go to the bank and borrow money to start a business and send your children to school. If you have an emergency, you can bank that lot. When you have land, you will not be poor, there are billions on this planet who work and die not owning anything. Eight hundred million people are living on less than four dollars a day. Yet in this Jewel, 20,000 Belizeans have become landowners. Last year the prime minister focused on this incredible transfer of wealth that this represents a transfer that will only continue and gather pace. If we assume that each lot is valued at $20,000 then essentially this government has transferred $400 million in wealth to people who had no wealth before.”

 

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