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Housing and Water Minister, Mr. Collin Croal warned “no new squatter settlements will be recognised.”
“We will not be recognising any new ones [ squatting areas], but we recognise what we have met and we will work with those areas,” the minister
According to the minister, 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.
Squatting in Guyana has reached epic proportions and was also aided as a political tool/weapon to relocate persons into new areas and force the government to find living accommodations in new areas. There has also been a voluntary population shift in search of social and economic opportunities.
The minister said “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.”
After nurturing and encouraging the culture of squatting the People’s Progressive Party/Civic is now against it and pointing out that there is a process that must be followed through which persons can apply for land at the Ministry of Housing.
Those who are presently squatting and have been documented by the Central Housing and Planning Authority (CHPA) will be regularised as far as possible, the minister said. Further, in instances where persons fall within an area earmarked for sea defence, roads or other critical infrastructure, they will have to be relocated.