The Government of Guyana remains concerned about the well-being of all Guyanese, including those who are occupying lands in informal settlements and are under the regularization programme.
Expounding on the importance of the regularisation programme, Minister of Housing and Water, Irfaan Ali explained that more than twenty-one (21,000) families could now access loans because they have built equity in land titles, which would never have been possible, prior to 1992.
Since 1992, when the People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) was elected to government, the problem of squatting was one of the issues the Ministry had to address.
Regularisation of squatters in areas suitable for housing settlements was one of the pillars around which the new government sought to address the problem of housing.
This embraced the overall policy of land divestment where the Government adopted the sites and services approach in establishing new housing areas, along with, providing and upgrading infrastructure in regularised squatter areas.
To date, the Ministry of Housing and Water, through the CH&PA has regularised approximately 85% of squatting communities country-wide, with an on-going plan to continue regularisation, until all the areas have been completed.
Benefits of regularisation include ownership of land by way of Title, access to infrastructure (roads, electricity, water etc.), empowerment of communities by way of participatory planning for community improvements and improvement in the quality of life.
The CH&PA will continue to regularise the squatting areas which are compatible with the standards for development into housing areas, in order to provide security of tenure and improved living conditions for this segment of the population. At the same time, relocation plans for squatters who occupy areas that cannot be regularised, will be activated to offer improved quality of life for current occupants.