Relocation underway for Cummings Lodge squatters

Housing and Water Minister Collin Croal and other officials at Cummings Park

The Ministry of Housing and Water through the Central Housing and Planning Authority (CH&PA) is currently in the process of relocating eleven informal settlers living in parts of Plots 1767 and 1768 from Cummings Lodge (Cummings Park) .

Minister for Housing and Water Collin Croal, accompanied by CH&PA CEO Mr Sherwyn Greaves and Ministry’s Permanent Secretary, Mr Andre Ally, today visited the area along with officials from the Community Development, Projects and Enforcement Departments. .

Minister Croal said the area has been earmarked for a new housing project, providing 190 low-income homes for families and the illegal activity will severely hamper development.

Nevertheless, the Minister highlighted the government’s commitment to providing housing for all Guyanese, as he outlined the Ministry’s approach.

“We have been working with squatters in this area since August last year and a number of vacant structures have since been demolished. However, the eleven remaining structures are those that have been found to have occupants, they have been served with notices to remove and we have had our Community Development Department working with them, ”said the Minister of Croal.

“They have received their final cut notices and assistance is being provided to remove them immediately,” the Minister continued.

The notices served require the informal settlers to be removed by Saturday, April 10, 2021. CH&PA is currently in the process of relocating the squatters to a suitable area in the vicinity.

Initial reports indicated that 13 infringement notices were served on 13 structures observed by CH&PA on August 20, 2021.

By August 27, 2020, 22 structures were observed and a demolition exercise was conducted on October 13, 2020, leaving 11 structures in possession. A number of Drop In Notices have also been issued and since then six of the informal settlers have contacted CH&PA. The final breach notice was served on April 3, 2021.

Based on interaction with the squatters, eight have applications within the CH&PA system, while a further three are in the process of making a formal application to facilitate the relocation process.

The Minister was also accompanied by a high level team of Guyana Police including the Senior Superintendent of Police Mr Calvin Brutus, Deputy Commissioner (s) Mr. Clifton Hicken and Divisional Commander of Section “4A”, Mr. Simon Mc Bean.

This, he said, is to improve safety in the area given the size of the development. Discussions with officials have highlighted the installation of an outpost towards the end of the Aubrey Barker project.