The Central Housing and Planning Authority (CH&PA) has warned that squatting is illegal and persons can be prosecuted. It is therefore urging persons to apply to the Authority for houselots.
In a release issued today, the CH&PA pointed out that it has been observed that large groups of persons have been demarcating vacant lands from Diamond Housing Scheme, East Bank Demerara to Bush Lot, West Coast Berbice, for the purpose of squatting, under the pretext that President David Granger instructed this.
The release pointed out that “squatting is an illegal act that would not be condoned by the Government of Guyana.” The CH&PA added that lands squatted on after January 1, 1998 would not be regularised. It added that persons, attempting to occupy those lands, would not have the opportunity to legally own the lands. In addition, they may be liable for prosecution under the relevant Act.
Whilst pointing out that all Guyanese deserve a good life, the CH&PA also noted that with government’s wanting to assure all Guyanese of fair and equitable access to lands, interested persons should apply to the authority for house lots.
According to reports reaching the CH&PA, persons began demarcating plots on May 15, 2015, one day before President Granger was sworn in as President of Guyana. The release added that over the weekend of May 16 and 17, 2015, that systematic land grabbing activities intensified.
The most sought area for land grabbers is behind Diamond Housing Scheme, where there is empty land. CH&PA has since placed a sign board on the open space, notifying the public that trespassers will be prosecuted.
Land grabbers have also targeted government reserves, leased lands and plots, earmarked for playgrounds and schools. The targeted areas include Sophia, Mon Repos, Enmore, Haslington, Nabaclis, Hope Experiment, and Bush Lot. Officers of CH&PA will be closely monitoring these areas to ensure persons do not unlawfully occupy the lands.
A Partnership for National Unity/Alliance For Change Government (APNU+AFC) has urged persons not to be misled into committing unlawful acts. Guyanese will be given fair and equitable access to land under the government’s land distribution policy. As such, CH&PA is requesting persons to desist from squatting and have patience as government implements its policy. (GINA)