Several squatters in Paradise, Region Four and Tuschen, Region Three were urged to discontinue squatting following a visit to the communities yesterday by Minister within the Ministry of Communities, Valerie Adams Patterson and officials of the Central Housing and Planning Authority (CH&PA) including members of its enforcement arms.
During the visit the Minister and team observed that a number of persons in the two communities who were warned against squatting on state reserves had again taken possession of these lands.
Earlier this week, representatives from the two communities had visited the minister to complain about the poor state of the road and bad drainage caused by persons living on the state reserves. Equipment used to carry our drainage and road works would usually use the reserves.
Minister within the Ministry of Communities Valerie Adams Patterson listens to a resident’s concern in Tuschen
“CH&PA had written them, telling them to stop squatting on the reserves. Some of them moved and have now moved back. That is defiant,” Minister Adams-Patterson noted. Further, the Minister explained a number of these persons were issued with house lots.
Restating the government’s commitment to offering an alternative solution to those who will be removed from the squatting area, the Minister explained that these persons will either be issued a house lot or benefit from easy access to low/affording apartments or condominiums that the government will soon build. “We are going to give them first preference and we are going to make it affordable,” the Minister advised.
The Minister advised that the CH&PA will again write the persons who are squatting on the reserve. “If they do not want to move the hammer will fall,” she warned.
The access road in Paradise Housing Scheme, East Coast Demerara
“We are going to warn them again, and if they do not move we are going to break the structure,” the Minister said, adding that, “I believe that you can only give people a chance if they are willing.” “We have to bring order to this country, and if bringing order means that we have to remove some of these people, then we have to,” the Minister said.
Minister Adams-Patterson visited and inspected the communities given that the schemes are yet to be handed over to the respective local Neighborhood Democratic Councils (NDCs) and as such, are still the responsibility of the Ministry of Communities.
On the issue of the roads Minister Adams-Patterson promised, “What I have seen today will certainly be addressed.”