Gov’t fast-tracking squatters’ regularisation in Region Three

269 households to receive titles from CH&PA

Some 269 households in five squatter settlements in Region Three will soon receive land ownership documents for lands they have been occupying for more than 15 years.

Housing and Water Minister Collin Croal said the initiative forms part of efforts by his ministry to fast-track squatters’ regularisation on the West Coast Demerara and East Bank Essequibo.

Housing and Water Minister, Collin Croal

The minister explained that a total of 58 households have been documented by the Central Housing and Planning Authority (CHPA) in Greenwich Park North, 39 in Greenwich Park Railway Lands, 64 in Plantation Vergenoegen (Acme Housing Scheme), 32 in Vergenoegen (Railway Lands), and 18 in Plantation Barnwell (Railway Lands).

On Friday last, he met with the residents of the areas at the Greenwich Park Primary School, to update them on the status of their regularisation process.

He explained that the block and occupation survey, as well as the cadastral survey, were completed for Greenwich Park North, and those households will be able to sign their Agreement of Sales for the processing of titles, within two weeks.

Minister Croal reported that the block and occupational surveys were completed in Greenwich Park Railway Lands, and the block titles were obtained.

A resident raising a concern

The ministry is now awaiting permission to mutate the area from the Guyana Lands and Surveys Commission (GLSC) and embark on the developmental plans for the areas.

“The next phase is that we will have to submit to GLSC what is called the ‘sketch plan’ with that permission letter that we receive and prepare the final plan. So, in essence, by the end of September, for those who are in Greenwich Park Railway Lands, we are expecting to have the final plan approved in conjunction with the Guyana Lands and Surveys Commission,” the minister further explained.

He has therefore committed that once that phase is completed by the end of October, CHPA will proceed with the allocation and processing of titles for the 39 households in that area.

The block and occupational surveys were also completed in Plantation Barnwell and Vergenoegen (Railway Lands) and the transfer of ownership of the land is in process.

In Plantation Vergenoegen, the land was previously owned by a cooperative society in the 1990s and the ministry is currently going through the process of transferring the ownership of the land.

Minister Croal took the opportunity to warn the residents against erecting new structures on government reserves with the hope of being regularised.

“We cannot and we will not continue believing that we can start building in an area or take up an open space and think that we will get a service that will require you getting ownership,” he cautioned.

Residents in attendance at the meeting

He said that “there will be no new squatting allowed”, noting that the PPP/C Government has an aggressive national housing programme that provided an opportunity for every citizen to access homeownership.

Meanwhile, 46 families who were illegally occupying lands on Cameron Dam, Region Three were allocated house lots in the Lust-en-Rust community.

Minister Croal explained that those residents had to be relocated since those areas were earmarked for infrastructural development.

Just last month, 10 families who are squatting on lands at the Zeelugt Sideline Dam were allocated house lots in the new Stewartville Housing Scheme.

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