– to chart way forward for functionality
CHIEF Coop Development Officer (CCDO), Perlina Gifth, says that she is expected to hold Special General Meeting (SGM) with the members of the Doch Cab Housing Cooperative Society (DCHCS) to begin paving the way for the society to return to being active, and allowing for members to get transports for their lands.
During a visit earlier this month to the East Coast, Demerara housing scheme by the Attorney General, Basil Williams, and the Central Housing and Planning Authority (CH&PA) Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Lelon Saul, Saul had revealed that the CH&PA currently had 25 ‘completed’ transports ready to be distributed to members, with others being processed.
However, at the request of the CCDO, the CH&PA is being asked to hold off on issuing anymore transport for lands in the housing society. Gifth said the directive to halt the issuing of transports is one that predates her taking up the CCDO post. However, she explained that the halt was put in place following numerous disputes over ownership of lands in Doch Cab and other housing societies.
“We had instances where lots were sold and resold. That has been happening in lots of the housing societies and what we found out was that the first buyer wasn’t able to apply for transport but the second buyer received a transport. It did not happen much in Doch Cab. In the case of Doch Cab there was an issue where a member was issued a lot and he had a lot previously. This one person wanted to own two lands so a letter was sent, prior to me being appointed in the office, that they put a hold on the transports,” Gifth explained.
In 2014 the Doch Cab Housing Society was among over 200 coop societies which were cancelled. Since then a few efforts had been made to revive the society, but the efforts were not sustained.
“The society was in a defunct state. Since I have taken office two groups came to me and I outlined to them what are some of the requirements that they must submit to become active but none of them came back,” Gifth said.
In their meeting with the AG, the residents complained of reaching a point of frustration in obtaining transports or land titles for lands that some of them have been residing on for over 20 years.
During his June 11 visit, Williams aided the society in selecting a five-member group to temporarily represent their interests, and interface with the CH&PA and CCDO. Gifth said that she has already been visited by the five-member group and instructed them on how to go about getting the society back to functionality. She says the first step is for a list of all the members of the society to be compiled.
“They visited the Department last week Thursday morning. I said to them these are some of the reasons why the society has not been able to be placed into the active list,” Gifth said.
“What we discussed is that they submit a list of members and the status of the members, and in terms of the membership issue, the transport issues I will have a SGM with the members, that meeting will be convened in another week or so. I have since looked at the matter closely and I have discussed it with our Minister of Social Protection, so we are going to make a sanction on that. “
She pointed out that an Interim Management Committee will be put in place and tasked with holding the Annual General Meeting and elections of executives, so that the society could return to being listed as being active.
“They have to have the SGM, and after the SGM we hear the issues and most likely we will have to appoint an Interim Management Committee(IMC) for the short period, and within, at least two months they will have the AGM. Within the two months we will try to bring the society up to some level of normalcy in terms of the status of being active. Then they have the AGM and allow the members to continue to manage their society,” she explained.
The DCHCS was reportedly established since 1971, where some 35 house lots were allocated in the Clonbrook Housing Scheme. The community plan also included a section of reserved land which was put aside for the construction of a nursery school.
The reserve was eventually used as a play field. However, it was later decided by the Coop to parcel off the reserve and also offer it as residential lots, adding another approximately 40 house lots to the Clonbrook Housing Scheme Phase One. The Clonbrook Housing Scheme Phase Two has another 110 house lots.