The Central Housing and Planning Authority (CH&PA) on Monday ordered some 266 squatters from Sophia to remove by the end of January 2018.
The CH&PA along with other agencies demolished a number of homes on government’s reserve in Section A and B Pattensen (Sophia) on October 12. Several persons have since approached the body requesting extra time to move.
Though the squatters claimed that they were not given prior notice, during a press briefing on Monday, Minister within the Ministry of Communities, Valerie Adams Patterson-Yearwood stated otherwise.
Several billboards had also been installed along Dennis Street, urging persons to desist from squatting.
The Minister said the decision to offer more time came after persons would have expressed their willingness to relocate, since many of them already have houselots.
She further explained that the CH&PA is in the process of implementing a plan, that will offer house lots to those persons who can afford to build. For those unable to construct a dwelling, the government is seeking funding to build core homes at Industry on the East Coast of Demerara.
“We don’t just want to give them a house lot because we know if they can’t afford to build. They are going to put a shack and all we are doing is moving one shanty town from one area to another. That is not what we want, as we relocate, we are going to upgrade,” Minister Patterson-Yearwood explained.
She reminded that the exercise will be a costly one and persons must be patient.
Minister Patterson-Yearwood warned that any building seen being erected on the reserves will be demolished along with unoccupied structures.
Meanwhile, the demolition exercise carried out by the CH&PA in collaboration with the Guyana Power and Light (GPL) and the Guyana Water Inc. (GWI), Ministry of Public Infrastructure and the Guyana Police Force, will be rolled out in other areas including Liliendaal and Turkeyen and Cumming’s Lodge. (Modified from DPI)