Sophia squatters protest, urged to apply for house lots

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Following a protest staged by disgruntled Sophia squatters, the Central Housing and Planning Authority (CH&PA) is encouraging those persons to submit house lot applications to the agency.

Scores of squatters stood with placards outside of the CH&PA’s Brickdam office on Monday, demanding redress after their houses were torn down in a demolition exercise conducted by the agency.

Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Housing Authority, Lelon Saul met with Clayton Jarvis, the leader of the group of squatters and the two parties agreed to remove squatters who are owners of house lots but continue to squat nevertheless and to police the reserves to ensure that no new structures are erected.

According to a release from the Ministry of Communities, the CH&PA committed to facilitate the registration of new applicants who are squatting and to provide status updates on applications already submitted by squatters.

Saul, in an invited comment, told News Room that the agency does not condone squatting and has no intention to regularise the Sophia squatters. He urged that the families make applications for houses as the ministry is working assiduously to provide affordable housing.

Meanwhile, the common cry among the squatters is that they have applied for house lot for years but never received a response from the agency.

“The government tell we how they gonna give we house lot and they got we in it now and they sending people now to break down we houses way we living on and I don’t feel that is right,” one resident told reporters.

The Housing Authority said it demolished 21 structures in the area in preparation for community development works under the US$30 million ‘Road Network Upgrade and Expansion Programme.’

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