–Housing and Water Minister says
HOUSING and Water Minister, Collin Croal, has said that with much emphasis being placed on tackling squatting to create wholesome communities and ensure citizens enjoy a better quality of life, the ministry will not be recognising any new “squatter settlements.”
“We will not be recognising any new ones [squatting areas], but we recognise what we have met and we will work with those areas,” the minister said during a recent housing drive at Uitvlugt, Region Three.
Minister Croal said that persons must move away from the idea that they could illegally occupy state lands or any property belonging to another individual, with the view of making it their own.
“Whether we are in Success [East Coast Demerara], we have to do the right thing. Whether we are in Amelia’s Ward, we have to do the right thing…but we just can’t behave as if we have a God-given right to assume what we don’t own,” he said.
The Housing and Water Minister related that there is a process that must be followed through which persons could apply for land at the housing ministry.
Those persons who are squatting and have been documented by the Central Housing and Planning Authority (CH&PA) will be regularised as far as possible.
In other instances, he said that persons might have to be relocated to other areas, once they fall within an area earmarked for sea defence, roads or other critical infrastructure.
The minister, however, assured citizens: “You have a very loving and caring President and government, so we will work with all areas.”
Since being elected to office in August 2020, hundreds of informal settlers in Regions Four and Five have been regularised, while several persons were relocated to developed communities.
The ministry is now focusing its attention on Region Three, where 45 squatter settlements were found. And, according to the ministry, many of those areas will be recognised and regularised.
“When we’re finished with those 45, we will see over 3,000 persons being able to finally own their own home,” Minister Croal said.
He added that the PPP/C Administration has an aggressive housing programme that caters to the housing needs of all citizens, so there is absolutely no need for squatting. (DPI)