By KHRISNA VIRGIL
Tribune Staff Reporter
HOUSING Minister Kenred Dorsett says officials have been ordered to prosecute land owners who have yet to ensure shanty town residents have complied with regulations.
Last month, the government served notice on the owners that they would face consequences if shanty town residents did not bring the homes up to the code or find suitable accommodation elsewhere.
Mr Dorsett was speaking in response to questions about the government’s next course of action regarding the shanty town off Joe Farrington Road, which the area’s MP Ryan Pinder confirmed was the largest in his constituency.
Mr Dorsett said: “(Officials) have been given instruction to proceed with prosecution where the notices have not been complied with. I would assume that should begin any day now. We only served notices in respect to one, the one off Joe Farrington Road.”
John Bostwick Jr, attorney for the land owners, last night said he would not comment until he spoke with officials directly.
The fire ripped through the Joe Farrington Road site on July 22 destroying more than 75 homes and leaving more than 150 people homeless.
Residents claimed to have seen several men jump a wall into the village and set one of the homes on fire.
The fire then spread quickly because of the close proximity of the houses.
The Tribune was told two weeks ago that land owners had started an eviction process, a move that the Mr Dorsett said the government had nothing to do with.
Landowners were expected to meet with a task force earlier this week to discuss the future of the site but Housing officials could not confirm the meeting.
Mr Bostwick Jr said his clients would not allow the residents who lost everything to rebuild on the 2.5 acres of land.
They were said to have been eager to assist the government with enforcing health and environment compliance requests.
• Is there the will to fix shanty town problem? See page 6.