Sophia squatters no longer need to relocate

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By Bibi Khatoon

The Department of Housing has acknowledged that it acted in a hasty manner when it forcefully demolished several homes in ‘A’ and ‘B’ Fields, Sophia in October last year.

Two hundred and sixty-six persons were issued notices to remove by the end of this month, however, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Central Housing and Planning Authority, Lelon Saul at a press conference on Thursday, January 4, 2018, said they are no longer required to move until systems are put in place for them.

“We would not be relocating anyone without a viable alternative. We are yet to develop a new location for those people. We are looking at Cummings Lodge (East Coast Demerara). Even though they were served notices, we would not be moving against them,” the CEO told media operatives.

Asked when the area is expected to be identified and developed, he noted that it is among a list of projects being done by the Housing Ministry.

On October 12, 2017, the Housing Authority and other agencies including the Guyana Power and Light and the Guyana Water Inc., Ministry of Public Infrastructure and the Guyana Police Force demolished the homes of several persons in ‘A’ and ‘B’ Fields, Sophia.

At the time the squatters said they were not informed and subsequently protested the Housing Department’s Brickdam office. The protest action saw the agency discontinuing the demolition action which was scheduled to be moved to ‘C’ and ‘D’ Fields, Sophia.

The CEO also provided a general update on the regularization program which will see the relocation of in other areas; all of which are incomplete but are also engaging the attention of the Mayor and City Council and the Guyana Lands and Surveys Commission.

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