Linden squatters blocking new road given housing


Several squatters, who have taken up residence at one section of Amelia’s Ward in Linden, Region 10 (Upper Demerara- Berbice), will receive housing units or house lots as the Housing Ministry proceeds with plans to develop a new scheme in the community.

On Sunday, videos on social media showed that some structures erected by squatters at Amelia’s Ward were being demolished by local housing authorities.

Previously, these squatters were engaged about relocating from the area. Some individuals were served a final notice that they were required to vacate the area by May 12, 2022.

These squatters were occupying a section of the community where a new access road is slated for construction; this access road is needed to develop a forthcoming scheme.

demolished structure (Photo: Devin Sears/ Facebook)

On Monday, however, officials from the Central Housing and Planning Authority (CH&PA) intervened to determine amicable solutions for all parties.

“Those persons who were removed, they will be allocated house lots in other locations so that they won’t be out of residence,” Sherwyn Greaves, the CH&PA Chief Executive Officer (CEO) said on Monday afternoon.

Greaves, after meeting with the squatters on Monday, noted that in December 2020, housing officials visited the area to plan for the forthcoming housing development. Then, 152 structures – ranging from houses to only fences – were used by squatters.

Though a number of squatters reside in the area, 16 of them impeded the construction of the access road. Of those 16, Greaves related that only two had completed houses.

CEO Sherwyn Greaves (Photos: Ministry of Housing and Water/Nov, 5, 2021)

As such, the two squatters with completed houses will be allocated housing units while the remaining 14 squatters will receive house lots.

Minister of Housing and Water Collin Croal told the News Room that the ministry has been exploring whether the squatting area could be regularised. In doing so, squatters would no longer have to illegally occupy lands.

“It is not desirable as a government or as a ministry, knocking down people’s houses.

“This must be done in a systematic way,” Croal told the News Room on Monday.

The 16 residents who were removed, however, would still impede the construction of the access road.

Meanwhile, Croal said that the government is focusing on a region-wide housing plan that will allow residents, including other squatters in the area, to get their own places to live.

The Housing Ministry plans to develop Amelia’s Ward, for hundreds of residents. Three contracts totalling some $364 million have been signed for works here, and some 400 lots have been allocated.

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