New squatting areas will not be recognised – Min. Croal warns

Housing and Water Minister, Collin Croal said that his ministry continues to aggressively tackle the issue of squatting to create wholesome communities and ensure citizens enjoy a better quality of life and therefore, “no new squatter settlements will be recognised.”

“We will not be recognising any new ones [ squatting areas], but we recognize what we have met and we will work with those areas,” the minister emphasised.

He made the statement during a recent housing drive at Uitvlugt, Region Three.

Minister Croal said that persons must move away from the idea that they can illegally occupy state lands or any property belonging to another individual, with the view of making it their own.

“Whether we are in success [ East Coast Demerara], we have to do the right thing. Whether we are in Amelia’s Ward, we have to do the right thing…but we just can’t behave as if we have a God-given right to assume what we don’t own,” he stressed.

The housing minister pointed out that there is a process that must be followed through which persons can apply for land at the housing ministry.

However, he noted that those who are currently squatting and have been documented by the Central Housing and Planning Authority (CHPA) will be regularised as far as possible.

In other instances, he explained that persons may have to be relocated to other areas, once they fall within an area earmarked for sea defence, roads or other critical infrastructure.

He has therefore assured citizens that, “You have a very loving and caring president and government, so we will work with all areas.”

Since the Government assumed office in August 2020, hundreds of informal settlers in Regions Four and Five have been regularised, while several persons were relocated to developed communities.

The ministry has now focused its attention on Region Three where 45 squatter settlements were found, many of which will be recognised, and go through the regularisation process, Minister Croal highlighted.

“When we’re finished with those 45, we will see over 3,000 persons being able to finally own their own home,” he stated.

The Minister added that the PPP/C Administration has an aggressive housing programme that caters to the housing needs of all citizens and therefore, ‘there is absolutely no need for squatting.’

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