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New Act coming to deal with squatting - Housing Ministry

Tuesday, May 21, 2013 | 6:14 PM    

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KINGSTON, Jamaica — The Housing Ministry says it is moving forward with strategies to deal with as many as half a million squatters in Jamaica.

According to Minister without Portfolio with responsibility for Housing, Dr Morais Guy, a new Trespass Act is being developed to better deal with issues related to land tenure and squatting.

”It is estimated that there are over 700 residential squatter settlements island-wide with more than 100,000 households with an average of four to five persons per household. I should mention that the spontaneous development of informal housing results generally in poor building construction…” Dr Guy said during his contribution to the Sectoral Debate today.

Dr Guy said that the ministry is strengthening its Squatter Management Unit to work on drafting policy to address the widespread problem, which often leads to environmental degradation and major losses as a result of bad building practices.

Among the ministry’s efforts to provide better housing solutions for squatters this year are plans to upgrade the Galleon Beach Settlement in St Elizabeth and at 21 August Town Road in St Andrew, which will benefit 294 families.

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