Some 3,000 squatters in Region #3 to become homeowners

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There are a number of squatters all across Region Three (Essequibo Islands-West Demerara) and Housing Minister Collin Croal says that some 3,000 of them could soon become homeowners.

The minister, speaking at an event in the region on Friday, highlighted that focus has been directed towards 45 squatting areas identified in the region.

“… many of those will see us regularising them but when we are finished with those 45, we will see… at least 3,000 persons finally own their own home by a title,” Minister Croal told a sizable gathering at the Uitvlugt community centre ground, on the West Coast of Demerara (WCD).

Regularisation means that lands may become legally habitable and could be outfitted with the necessary utilities to enable comfortable living. The minister, however, tapered expectations by stating that resolving issues with squatting takes some time.

Beyond this effort, Minister Croal said that the Housing and Water Ministry plans to work alongside all squatters in all squatting areas to determine amicable solutions.

Minister of Housing and Water Collin Croal speak with the media during a visit to Mocha (Photo: News Room/June 3, 2022)

He, however, admitted that some “tough decisions” may be necessary since squatting remains illegal and unwanted. In some instances, lands cannot be regularised because they are needed for other purposes whether sea defence, infrastructural works, or otherwise.

He also chastised squatters who inconvenience others.

“… we can’t just believe that we will take anybody’s piece of land, make it our own and then behave like if we have a God-given right to that.”

Importantly, Croal explained that the ministry is firmly against squatting but it is not adopting a hard stance against squatters due to cognisance of the challenges that have long been experienced.

He said, “We will work in all areas but we will not be recognising any new ones.

“We recognise what we have met and if it can be regularised, then you must make the tough decisions.”

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