167 squatters now landowners in Amelia’s Ward Phase Four

following the signing of agreements of sale to process Certificates of Title

The first 167 families who have been squatting in Amelia’s Ward Phase Four, Linden, Region Ten, signed their agreements of sale for the processing of their certificates of title. 

This is a commitment made by Minister within the Ministry of Housing and Water, Susan Rodrigues to the residents back in 2021, during an outreach there. 

Minister within the Ministry of Housing and Water, Susan Rodrigues handing over agreement of sale document to the beneficiaries

In this area, 424 house lots are earmarked for allocation. 

The distribution exercise was held at Linden Foundation Secondary School, Linden, Region Ten on Wednesday. 

With the ownership document, the residents now have greater opportunities to access loans from financial institutions for home expansion or to start a business. 

The beneficiaries were ecstatic to be provided with their documents at today’s exercise. 

Minister Rodrigues during remarks

Beneficiary, Wilma Pigott, who has been living in Amelia’s Ward for the past five years, applied for her ownership document three years ago. 

“I am very excited about receiving my title because I am renting and it is costly. So, getting my own will help me a lot,” she said.

The single mother said that her next steps involve the completion of her house.

Another beneficiary, Chisara James, who has been squatting in the area for over three years, could not contain her excitement now that she is a landowner. 

“I am very much grateful to the government for this great opportunity. don’t want to be an illegal squatter anymore…Being a landowner means a lot because it is your name to something. It means so much to me, more than what you can imagine,” James expressed.

Another beneficiary receiving her agreement of sale from Minister Rodrigues

To other people who may have apprehension to applying for their lands or intended to squat, she said, “I am encouraging others to apply for their lands…Just do the right thing.”

She plans to construct a formal structure on her land.

22-year-old beneficiary, Vandy Van Lewin emphasised how happy he is to finally own the land he has been occupying since 2019.

“I am happy that I was one of the 167 persons they [the ministry] called,” Lewin stated.

Minister Rodrigues highlighted that the government’s housing programme is far beyond ensuring that Guyanese have access to affordable and sustainable housing.

“Your title will give you financial independence…It gives you the key to so much more. And for your house lot or the land that you occupy to have any significant value, it has to be situated in a sustainable, designed housing scheme…” Minister Rodrigues said. 

Minister Rodrigues handing over her agreement of sale to Rawle Andre Powers

And for the housing area to be sustainable, she added that the government is ensuring that the necessary infrastructure is installed such as roads, bridges, drainage, utilities and reserved areas for recreational spaces, schools, and health centres. 

Reemphasising that new squatting areas will not be regularised, Minister Rodrigues said that the government is comprehensively addressing the issue of squatting. 

Areas such as Blueberry Hill, Block 22, Green Valley, Ituni, and One Mile are among the communities which have been regularised by the government. 

Government is also working to acquire lands in the region for these areas to be regularised.

Minister Rodrigues further disclosed, “There are some areas that we are looking at some planned activities that were committed by His Excellency as well. We have some areas here…Coomacka, Silver Hill, West Watooka, more areas in the Ward…All of these are areas that we are looking at and are going through the process now to acquire these lands, so that they can be regularised.”

Region Ten saw an investment of $356.8 million in 2021 for road upgrades and the construction of houses. 

Minister Rodrigues and team inspecting housing areas in Fitz Hope and Plantation Hope

In 2022, $505.8 million was spent on the new infrastructure programme for the new Amelia’s Ward Phase Four. 

In 2023, works were advanced while several upgrades were done in Wisroc. Additionally, a new housing area was cleared, Plantation York, where allocations will commence this year. 

Over 500 allocations will be made this year in the new area that was recently acquired in Fitz Hope and over 200 lots to be allocated in York. 

“So, almost 1,000 house lots, alone, this year for Linden. So, people do not need to squat…” Minister Rodrigues emphasised. 

Minister Rodrigues and her team inspected the housing areas in Plantation York and Fitz Hope.

Chief Executive Officer of the Central Housing and Planning Authority (CH&PA), Sherwyn Greaves, Regional Executive Officer (REO), Dwight John, Regional Chairman, Deron Adams, Director of Community Development at CH&PA, Gladwin Charles, Member of Parliament, Jermaine Figueira,other officials and staff of the ministry were also at the activity.

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