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The Central Housing & Planning Authority (CH&PA) and a six-member Anti-Squatting Task Force from Constituencies 5 and 6 met on Wednesday and mulled over an action plan for squatter containment in the Sophia area.

With regards to squatting, Minister within Ministry of Communities Valerie Adams-Patterson-Yearwood said that it is her intention to replicate the action plan in the administrative regions in an effort to regularise areas and to identify those that do not qualify for such due to environmental issues.

She noted that though the government does not have all of the answers or resources in addressing the squatting matters, the agency is currently, partnering with the Inter-America Bank (IDB) to obtain funding for housing.

Earlier this year, CH&PA engaged with several financial agencies including IDB to secure funding for low-cost housing to assist persons squatting on Government reserves. From data collected, the agency reviewed the relocation of approximately 12,000 persons from communities such as East and West Ruimveldt, Sophia and Diamond on the East Bank Demerara.

The key stakeholder agencies engaged in the discussions were: Guyana Water Incorporated (GWI), Ministry of Public Infrastructure, Ministry of Public Security, Mayor and City Council (M&CC), National Drainage and Irrigation Authority (NDIA), Guyana Power and Light (GPL) and Guyana Lands and Survey.

It is the view of the Central Housing & Planning Authority (CH&PA) that the public standard of living must be elevated and provided with all the necessary amenities, in keeping with the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of ensuring access to safe and affordable housing.

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