Housing poverty in Guyana

  • +5,000 families served +5,000 families served
  • +1,200 volunteers hosted +1,200 volunteers hosted
  • +1,200 volunteers hosted +1,200 volunteers hosted

We've been tackling housing poverty in Guyana for over 20 years.

We believe that housing is a basic human need and right, and therefore it must be accessible to all. Since our launch in 1995, our local office has supported approximately 5,000 families with improved access to housing and housing finance.

A country rich in natural resources

Set like a gem in the crown of South America, Guyana’s many waterways reflect the source of its nickname, “The…

Set like a gem in the crown of South America, Guyana’s many waterways reflect the source of its nickname, “The Land of Many Waters.” It is a country full of natural wealth, including savannahs, mountains and rustic eco-tourism paths for the adventurous.

Guyana is the only English-speaking country on the continent and has a population of approximately 800,000 people, which is less than the number of Guyanese residing outside the country.

Guyana’s coastal zone is home to 90 percent of the country’s population, creating significant urban density in Georgetown and rural density along the eastern and western coastlines.

Building Guyana

Addressing housing poverty

To better meet the changing housing needs of families, our local office has decided to focus on community-based disaster risk reduction, volunteering, access to housing microfinance and advocacy.

We facilitate the provision of low-cost houses, but our strategies to mobilise funding have shifted from direct provision to a mix of externally financed and sponsored houses.

Partnerships

We partner with local financial institutions to mobilise capital from the housing market.

Local and international corporations provide annual donations and implement joint social marketing initiatives and corporate volunteer projects.

Using social marketing as a strategy to mobilise awareness and financing, this project provides families with housing financing. This project is in its second year. "Beharry Build" project

Volunteering in Guyana

Our volunteer programme, now in its second year, uses a structured approach to working with communities and volunteers a whole range of areas:
Housing construction

Disaster risk reduction

Financial literacy

Youth development and leadership training

Community mobilisation and advocacy

A campus chapter is being established at the University of Guyana. We are also seeking local and international corporate partnerships and allies (other development institutions) to expand our programme.
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Access low income mortgages (microloans)

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Through partnerships with local banks, we provide assistance to marginalised families to help them acquire low cost mortgages from local banks. We are currently producing a report based on our research on access to housing microfinance and the impact of affordable housing on breaking the cycle of poverty in Guyana.

"Scotia Bank Build-a-home"

A pilot social-marketing initiative resulted in a three-year extension of this partnership to mobilise housing finance to single mothers and people with disabilities.

Key facts & figures

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Capital: Georgetown

Proclaimed independence: May 26, 1966

Population: 735,554

Urbanisation: 28.4 %

Life expectancy: 68 years

Unemployment rate: 11 %

Population living below poverty line: 35 %