– orders squatters to vacate land by April 10 or face consequences

Squatters served notices last year at Cummings Lodge

Informal settlers have been hampering the rate of work currently underway in the Cummings Lodge New Housing Development area on the East Coast of Demerara (ECD), and as such have been ordered to leave by April 10, 2021, or face the consequences.
On Monday, the Ministry of Housing and Water issued a notice informing individuals who have been illegally occupying the land to move. Guyana Times understands that a total of 11 illegal structures have been erected in the path of ongoing work.

Minister at the Ministry of Housing and Water, Susan Rodrigues

Therefore, the Ministry stated in the notice that failure to comply with State instructions before the deadline will have consequences.
When contacted on Tuesday, Minister for Housing Administration Susan Rodrigues told this announcement that as part of infrastructure works in the Cummings Lodge area, bridges and roads were being built.
The water and electrical networks were also completed.
He noted that the Government was in the process of building 190 high-rise, two-bedroom houses in the community for the working class – a project that is slated to be completed within five months.
“With all the necessary infrastructure in place, a trip block is reaching us…. those are the illegal structures that are hindering the ongoing work in the area, and that’s why the notice was issued … We have a timeline to work with and once, April 10 comes and the illegal structures won’t to remove them, we will take the necessary action, ”the Minister explained.
Back in November, President Irfaan Ali had announced that land clearance work was starting for new housing schemes at Mon Repos and Cummings Lodge. He noted that the Government’s housing program will create tens of thousands of jobs in the construction and home improvement sectors. In addition, the construction sector will be key to driving growth in Guyana’s non-oil sectors.
As part of the PPP / C Government’s ambitious plan to make over 50,000 housing lots available to citizens over the next five years, the Ministry of Housing had begun steps to access 6356 acres of land to help meet the call this.
In addition to other areas, the lands were being sought between Golden Grove and Peters Hall on the east bank of Demerara (EBD) and between Ogle to Cummings Lodge on the East Coast of Demerara (ECD), for the development of additional housing schemes.
Since last August, the Government had flagged up the issue of illegal possession of State lands at Cummings Lodge and regarded it as a hindrance in carrying out the planned budget projects.
These people did not occupy the named locations at the time of the agency’s last inventory, which means they have recently moved into the locations and started construction.
“Again, the Ministry is working to meet the demand for housing, but our hand will not be forced by people who continue to commit to this illegal operation. Squatting impedes infrastructure development and more importantly, has a serious impact on the health and safety of participants, ”said a statement from the Ministry.
Citizens have been reminded that Government reserves are not suitable living conditions for anyone as they do not have the basic necessities for everyday human activities. He went on to say that these reserves mostly run along critical waterways, threatening serious contamination. In other cases, critical hardware for utility companies has been occupying these reserves and illegal services may affect critical services provided by these companies.
The Government is moving to distribute 10,000 house lots to Guyanese in 2021, in line with their manifesto pledge to supply 50,000 lots within their first term of office.
This aims to clear the current application backlog which is currently over 70,000. A number of land titles are also published throughout the year.
With a budget allocation of $ 6 billion for housing, the Government has said that consideration is being given to establishing a Diaspora Housing Fund. The Head of State had also revealed that the Government was looking at other areas of securing funding for the housing sector. This includes efforts to raise some US $ 250 million for housing projects.

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