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Dec 3, 2019

Ministry of Housing Hosts “Building Unit Awareness Series”

The Ministry of Housing, along with its partners, is hosting workshops with municipal level building units and stakeholders in building and construction. The workshop is to discuss processes needed to get approval to build in Belize. The first of the forums was held in Dangriga on Monday. Reporter Andrea Polanco tells us more.

 

Andrea Polanco, Reporting

The Ministry of Housing is hosting a workshop in each municipality and city called the “Building Unit Awareness Series.” The workshop started in Dangriga on Monday where stakeholders from the building and construction sectors engaged with the local building unit in that town.

 

Olga Tzec

Olga Tzec, Project Coordinator (Building Sector Reform Project), Ministry of Housing

“It is a series of workshops that will focus on building awareness on building units. These are the units that have been established at the municipal level that are in charge of building permits, occupancy permits, and demolition permits. They actually mirror the functions of the central building authority.   Today we focused on inviting stakeholders from the building and construction community, so we had people who are architects, engineers, electricians, people from banks, insurance companies and we also invited panelists, people who are from entities involved in the permitting processing; before you get a building permit, you have to get clearance from other entities. So, today we have PUC, Health Department, National Fire Service and CBA was here to do a presentation on the whole processing.”

 

The Economic Development Council is one of the partners in the ‘Building Unit Awareness Series.’  Project Officer Alexia Peralta explains the E.D.C.’s role.

 

Alexia Peralta

Alexia Peralta, Project Officer, Economic Development Council

“The productivity of the private sector is really what underpins the overall economic development of the country; which then begs the question, what are we doing to assist in improving their productivity and assist the ability for the growth in the private sector. That is what we are doing here today by being able to facilitate processes, by reducing time, how much processes we do and as well as cost will help to boost not just the current productivity of the sector but as well as to promote for there to be additional private sector growth in the industry, in particular, the construction industry because it is so important in everything we do in the country, there is need for infrastructure.”

 

According to the organizers, the Dangriga workshop showed that stakeholders are knowledgeable about the building processes – but that the building unit at the municipal levels can also serve beyond their towns, which would help to improve access to services and cut down time.

 

Olga Tzec

“One of the main things here is that stakeholders understand what is the process if you need to get a building permit, what is the process and who you need to go to. So, that is something good. As it is now, building units cover the municipal jurisdiction, whatever is the town jurisdiction that is the building unit’s jurisdiction. We hope, that in the future, we can move forward and say that the building unit will cover beyond the municipal jurisdiction to make this permitting process easier and more accessible so that people don’t have to send all their papers to the central building authority in Belize City and can do it at the local level.”

 

Reporting for News Five, I’m Andrea Polanco.

 

The workshops continue all of this week.


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