CH&PA remains committed to providing affordable housing to citizens but reiterates squatting is illegal  


The Housing and Water Ministry, through the Central Housing and Planning Authority (CH&PA) on Friday stated that it remains committed to peaceful resolution as it relates to the issues of informal settlers at Success South, East Coast Demerara (ECD).

In a release to the press, the agency stated that its dealing with this issue has always been fair and mutually beneficial to all parties involved.

The Success South squatters have had the attention of the agency since August 2020, when the first engagement was held upon a request by the Chairman of Better Hope/Success/LBI NDC, Zaman Shaw.

At the time, the lands were under the purview of NICIL.

Having found this, the agency invited persons from surrounding communities to begin the process of lawfully acquiring a residential house lot on 1 October 2020.

This was followed up with a visit from the subject Minister, Collin Croal, and officials from NICIL.

The occupants of the lands were again encouraged to vacate since their occupancy was illegal. A notice to this effect was published in the daily newspapers with an offer for assistance to those desirous of moving. The occupants were given up to October 4th, 2020, to vacate the area.

After some time had elapsed after the deadline, the Ministry conducted an in December 2022, followed by more engagements with the illegal occupants.

“In May 2023, the Ministry met with occupants, and several options for relocation were put forward. These include a low – or moderate-income land at Lusignan housing development; a middle-income land at Success; or a three-bedroom home, which will be constructed at Success. Minister Croal also mentioned that the Ministry will assist each person to ensure a smooth process,” the release stated.

Further, on December 12, 2023 some 33 of 45 squatters were allocated.

“It must also be noted as recently as February 2024- CH&PA Community Development Department issued Steal & Cement Subsidy forms to occupants. Also, the agency provided water tanks with routine refilling. This measure will continue until GWI can facilitate water continuously.”

The ministry added that in other instances where there were properties that had to be relocated as they were, this was done with all expenses paid by the agency, and the owners were involved in the process.

The interventions made over the past three years are a clear demonstration of the agency’s humane stance on the matter. This will continue to be a hallmark of the agency, and it deals with the issues of squatting.

“Again, the agency remains committed to its mandate of providing affordable housing for all citizens and wishes to reiterate that the act of squatting is illegal and more often than not stands in the way of national development.”