City Hall yet to begin consultations with squatters
With the matter of squatting being a topical issue for many years at the level of City Hall, the Georgetown Mayor and City Council (M&CC) is yet to decide what methods will be used to eradicate squatting across Georgetown.
Although a feasible approach has not yet been confirmed, the entity is looking to have the situation addressed in the near future so that squatting is reduced.
Even as the Councillors are presently mulling an advantageous solution for both the city and the squatters, they have not yet affirmed whether or not squatters’ houses will be dismantled.
This was according to recently-elected Councillor of Constituency Five, Akeem Peters, who has responsibility for Sophia, Liliendaal North and South, Pattensen/Turkeyen, North/South and Central Sophia.
During an interview with Guyana Times on Monday, Peter noted that while the Councillors were definitely seeking to regularise squatting in general, a definite solution has not yet been derived, but City Hall is currently holding discussions on this.
He disclosed that these discussions would not only be held at the level of City Hall, but would expand to include the squatters themselves.
According to Peters, knowing that there is an evident land shortage across the city specifically and how difficult it is to acquire housing lots, the Council is taking time to consider the way forward.
In this way, he noted, the decision to regularise the situation will not only be favourable to the country’s aesthetics but also for the squatters.
Reiterating that the squatters will not be left out of the decision-making process, Peters related that subsequent to meetings at City Hall, further consultations will be made with these persons to have their input. It is unclear when these consultations with the squatters will be held.
Prompted to pronounce on whether there is consideration to dismantle the squatters’ houses, Peters explained that it was not up to one Councillor to decide and it would be a collective decision.
Nonetheless, it was assured by Peters that the Council, after making its assessments, would be looking to initiate the best solution to address the issue and the concerns of the squatters.
Prior to the Local Government Elections this year which saw a new Council being sworn into City Hall, the previous Administration had announced that it would be doing all in its power to stamp out squatting.
It had been made clear that there was no tolerance for squatting and City Hall would immediately begin to consider ways in which this could be eliminated.
However, there had been no update on what decisions had been made to curb the situation even though squatting was still illegal in Guyana.