By Kurt Campbell
[www.inewsguyana.com] – A new enforcement unit will be created with the Guyana Lands and Surveys to tackle the scourge of squatting across the country, Cabinet Secretary Dr. Roger Luncheon announced today, Wednesday November 12.
Luncheon says notwithstanding the developments in the housing sector with the issuance of hundreds of house lots annually, squatting has continued specifically along the coast.
“Squatting has generated a life of its own,” Luncheon said as he announced that Cabinet has been informed that there are elected officials who are said to be encouraging squatting in exchange for financial considerations.
“Some of us will say taking bribes,” he told the media.
Currently, there is an enforcement unit within the Central Housing and Planning Authority (CHPA). The new unit will work along with the existing unit and will have the same remit which is to enforce the law as it relates to squatting.
Luncheon said too it was recognized by government that further intervention may be need and regularization of some squatting areas. He said what is feared is that squatting may be seen as being encouraged once people feel they can squat today and the area will be regularized tomorrow.
He said also that more legislative, administrative and executive interventions will need to be taken to tackle the scourge.
It must be noted that squatting has been facilitated, in some cases, by persons illegally selling lands in various areas.
The Ministry of Housing recently issued a warning against this where persons were also cautioned not to purchase house lots that are being sold by individuals and not the Ministry of Housing.