Legal row brews over repossession of core homes

- ministry cites breaches of contract

Amid moves by the housing authority to repossess some homes allocated to low income earners under the Low Income Settlement Programme for breaching their agreement, former Attorney General Anil Nandlall has threatened legal action to halt the moves.

At a press conference yesterday, Nandlall announced that he would take legal action against the Central House and Planning Authority (CHPA). Five persons namely Zabeeda Bacchus, Kuntie Tekchand, Ravina Balram, Etwaree Bahadur and Nirmala Ganesh appeared with Nandlall and it was related that their homes were being repossessed.

The women reside in villages such as Belle West and Parfaite Harmonie on the West Demerara and Nonpareil, East Coast Demerara and it was related that they have been residing in their respective homes for the past two years and were recently given notices to vacate by Tuesday. Thursday was given as the deadline for the handing over of the documents for the houses and lands but while many refused to do so, Tekchand said she handed over her transport owing to frustration.

Nandlall said he will seek to reclaim it and advised the home owners not to vacate their properties.

Junior Minister of Communities Keith Scott defended the CHPA. In a statement, he said the housing authority is mandated to make these properties available to persons in the low income group. He said in the cases where letters were dispatched seeking to repossess the houses, the persons who were allocated homes had breached the agreement they signed.

“CHPA has noted recently, evidence of persons who presented information that allowed them to qualify and participate in [the Inter-American Development Bank/ Government of Guyana] programme, sub-letting and in one instance, attempting to sell one of the houses. CHPA was able to stop the sale and revert the property to the Authority,” the statement said.

It noted that the statement was in response to persons including Nandlall circulating letters pertaining to repossession of core houses.

“CHPA stands committed to using the resources of the State and its energies, to provide housing for citizens, particularly low income groups, and deplores this cheap politicking and deception,” the statement said.

The home owners expressed their dissatisfaction yesterday. According to Nandlall, some had paid $192,000 or more to attain the land and now they are being told how to live.

The women concurred relating that they were told that every three months, their homes will be investigated and they should be present.

“I pay for my land and I am not giving up. I live there with my four daughter. We leave in the morning together and return together because I got to earn my daily bread. I am a single parent. Christmas is coming up. I don’t know what we will do if they take this away from us,” one woman said.

Nandlall deemed the actions taken by the CHPA illegal and suspicious. He said he is of the strong belief that the action being taken is because the government promised others land and homes.





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