Housing Ministry reiterates zero tolerance for squatting; Cummings Lodge squatters served with notice

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Enforcement Officers of the Housing Ministry serving warning notices on Wednesday

The Housing and Water Ministry has served Cummings Lodge/Sophia squatters with warning notices as it reiterated its zero-tolerance policy for the illegal act of squatting. In a statement on Wednesday, the Ministry said that it is urging persons to desist from illegally occupying State Lands. It noted that it has received reports of new structures being built on reserves within the Cummings Lodge/Sophia environs.

As a result, the enforcement arm of the Ministry served contravention notices to squatters of Cummings Lodge Phase 2, East Coast Demerara, Cummings Park, and the Section C Entrance.

According to the Ministry, these persons were not occupying the named locations at the time of the agency’s last inventory, which means they recently moved into the locations and started construction. The illegal occupation of State Lands at Cummings Lodge continues to hinder officials from carrying out the planned budgeted projects, the Ministry said, adding that it is appealing to the squatters to immediately cease all activities and allow the systematic allocation process to resume.

“Again, the Ministry is working to meet the housing demand, but our hand will not be forced by persons who continue to indulge in this illegal act. Squatting impedes on infrastructure development and more importantly, has a serious impact on the health and safety of those involved,” the statement said.

The Ministry also reminded citizens that Government reserves are not suitable living conditions for anyone as they lack the basic necessities for daily human activities. It went on to say that most times, these reserves run along critical waterways, posing a serious threat of contamination. In other instances, critical hardware for utility companies occupy these reserves and illegal encumbrances can affect critical services provided by these companies.