Informal settlers who have been occupying lands at Blueberry Hill (North) in Linden, Region Ten for more than 30 years, will finally receive their Land Transport, with the regularisation of the area through President Dr. Irfaan Ali’s Operation Clear-up.
The residents are currently signing up for and receiving their Agreement of Sale at the Christianburg Wismar Secondary School in Linden and can expect to receive the Transport a few weeks. Minister within the Ministry of Housing and Water, Hon. Susan Rodrigues and Chief Executive Officer of the Central Housing and Planning Authority, Mr. Sherwyn Greaves are leading the exercise and handed over several of the agreements to residents.
Operation Clear-up aims to resolve outstanding regularisation matters nationwide; and ensure that residents in areas that can be regularised receive their ownership documents.
The area at Blueberry Hill is occupied by some 153 families. In 2010 a survey was conducted in the area, however regularisation was delayed as a result of issues related to ownership of the land and corrections being made to the plan, as more persons started to occupy the area. A new plan was therfore done to facilitate the regularisation of the community and pave the way for today’s exercise.
CEO Greaves stated that the legal documents play a very important role in the lives of the residents since it will empower them and grant them peace of mind.
Similarly, Minister Susan Rodrigues stressed the importance of land ownership documents in the lives of residents.
The Minister stated, “we understand the importance of that and that is why the housing sector has always been a priority of our government because of the empowerment that homeownership and land ownership brings to people.”
Minister Rodrigues also said that the government would maintain the price of the land that was agreed upon years ago so that residents can close this chapter of their lives.
Minister Rodrigues said that squatting in Guyana has been an issue for decades. Due to there being no proper housing programme in the 1990s, she said there were about 200 squatting settlements identified when the PPP/C government first took office. Through several PPP/C administrations, the Minister further stated that 175 of these settlements have been regularised. However, in areas where regularisation is not possible or zero-tolerance zones, the Housing Ministry embarks on relocation.
Photos: Sydel Thomas, CHPA PR Dept.