Minister without Portfolio in the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation, Hon. Dr. Horace Chang, says the Government will take proactive steps to address squatting.
Minister Chang, who was making his contribution to the 2017/18 Sectoral Debate in the House of Representatives on April 5, said “squatting has become the source of much social ills” and the Government “will ensure that we have a viable programme to deal with (the issue) over the next couple of years”.
He said squatting will form a critical part of the urban regeneration programme for the redevelopment of targeted areas in Kingston and St. Andrew, once considered high- to middle-income housing communities.
Minister Chang said that for squatting to be effectively addressed, it must be treated as a national programme, and so the Ministry will actively engage all affected Members of Parliament.
“There are some informal settlements that are so dense that the only way we can adequately upgrade the infrastructure and improve the lives of the residents is to relocate some persons. In addition, some settlements are located in environmentally sensitive areas and they simply cannot be allowed to remain,” he said.
He said that where relocation is necessary, “we will do so, but rest assured that this will be done in a manner that results in minimal dislocation to the affected persons”.
He informed that model housing projects will commence in West Kingston and Denham Town, shortly.