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Foulkes Reveals Some Houses Already Safe

Dion Foulkes, Minister of Labour.

Photo: Lionel Smith

Dion Foulkes, Minister of Labour. Photo: Lionel Smith

By RASHAD ROLLE

Tribune Staff Reporter

rrolle@tribunemedia.net

PARTS of two shanty towns in New Providence will escape the government’s demolition exercises this month because of the code worthiness of its buildings.

Altogether, nearly 30 buildings in the All Saints Way shanty town off Golden Isles Road and the Bedrock shanty town east of Bacardi Road will not be demolished, according to Labour Minister Dion Foulkes, head of the government’s shanty town committee.

As for individual buildings that are up to code in other shanty towns that are surrounded by non-code worthy structures, Mr Foulkes said Cabinet will decide on Tuesday what to do with them.

“There is one home in particular off Bacardi Road, a very nice home, it is built to code and it is owned by a Bahamian of several generations,” he said. “That’s a decision Cabinet will have to make in terms of how we are going to approach that. There’s also another that’s similar to that. Problem with the second one is the offsets for the building control division, that home does not meet the offsets in terms of the distance to other homes. That one is a little different.”

As for the areas that will be preserved, he said: “All Saints Way off Golden Isles Road is built and structured like a regular subdivision. Most of the homes are very nice homes. Some of them have building permits. Most are code worthy. We have decided to leave that particular area out of this exercise. The second area is Bedrock which is off Bacardi Road, it’s on the eastern side of Bacardi Road. All of the homes are code worthy and they are very nice homes that have been built. We’ve decided to leave that out of this exercise. There are some individual homes in various shanty towns that are code worthy and some that have BPL connections and cable connections. Those are more difficult to deal with because they’re surrounded by homes that will be demolished. With the exception of those two areas, all of the other areas will be removed.”

Accordingly, the government is considering options for regulating the communities whose homes won’t be bulldozed, Mr Foulkes said. 

He said ahead of the August 10 eviction deadline, utility services in shanty towns will be disconnected. 

Jennifer Delancey, chief health inspector in the Department of Environmental Services, said 259 orders have been served with respect to derelict vehicles in the shanty towns – they have all since been removed. Mr Foulkes said it costs $60 to remove each vehicle. He stressed that the government has incurred no expense through its shanty town efforts, noting removal of derelict vehicles is something the department “does anyway.”

It’s not clear how many people remain in the shanty towns as of yesterday, though Mr Foulkes said most have left the areas. In one shanty town, off Lazaretto Road, “only two families are there now out of 30 and I think one is moving today,” he said.

As for people with special needs, officials have identified 15 such families that will be assisted by the Red Cross, he said.

“Some of them have left the shanty town area. Some have not. Some are really sad cases but we really don’t want to personalise it.”

Ultimately, the government is standing firm by its August 10 eviction deadline.

“This is a very historic effort and if we are successful and I believe we will be, it will probably be the first time this has been done successfully in the world,” Mr Foulkes said. “Many countries have tried it. The most famous case is in Brazil, where Brazil attempted to get rid of its communities and it was a complete disaster.

“We think we have covered every aspect of what we have to do from a technical point of view and also from a human relations point of view.”

Comments

DDK 1 year, 1 month ago

"He stressed that the government has incurred no expense through its shanty town efforts, noting removal of derelict vehicles is something the department “does anyway.”" A rather odd and certainly not truthful remark, in my humble opinion........

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DDK 1 year, 1 month ago

"The task force began moving derelict vehicles from the Lazaretto Road shantytown at a cost of $60 per vehicle, Foulkes said." This according to The Nassau Guardian!

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Well_mudda_take_sic 1 year, 1 month ago

Here we the feckless and feeble Minnis-led government already beginning to walk-back the demolition exercise. The two houses considered safe should be bull-dozed if they were built on Crown Land in order to prevent their re-occupancy by illegal immigrants. And If these two houses exist on properly recorded privately owned land and were occupied by illegal immigrants, then the owner(s) should be prosecuted for aiding and abetting illegal immigrants by housing them, in much the same way that employers of illegal immigrants should face such charges for employing them. Our laws must be enforced otherwise we Bahamians will wake-up one day to find we have become second class citizens within our very own country. I shudder at the thought! Is Foulkes of Haitian heritage?

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DDK 1 year, 1 month ago

"Asked if the government will assume the role of landlord and collect rent from these residents, Foulkes said, “Very good question. We are getting advice from the attorney general’s office on the various options as to what we can do [and] what is possible from a legal standpoint." Also The Nassau Guardian!

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TalRussell 1 year, 1 month ago

So, let me see if I reading comrade minister Dion correctly? Okay, first you construct dwellings despite not possessing a single legitimate zoning, building or occupational permits.... and does they possess title lands erected upon.... then with stroke ministerial penmanship - all is legitimized likes you should have done but probably wouldn't have been allowed construct - had you gone through all proper channels? { Can't make such bullshi# up }. Didn't some guy out at Lyford Cay - not do exact same just proceed without apply nothing thing?

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by TalRussell

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BahamaPundit 1 year, 1 month ago

FNM is a Haiti undercover party. This is no surprise. They're owned by Haiti and full of their spies. All the houses built illegally should be torn down. No exceptions!!!! No corn beef!!!! The end game if this activity was to: 1. Distract Bahamians from the sale of BEC to Shell; 2. Distract Bahamians from the purchase of a broke hotel with their VAT money; 3. End up legitimizing shanty towns and giving Haitians more rights than Bahamians!

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bogart 1 year, 1 month ago

If the shantytown construction homes are illegal done on land dey dont own..how in da world did some of those homes get BUILDING PERMITS....BPL...CONNECTION....CABLE CONNECTION.....???.......is dis what pore Bahamians been paying VAT taxes to employ govt workers to do.......???.....an to add insult...legitimate.Bahamian Developers have to spend money to get electricity...water...road...serveyors...!!!!!.......

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mandela 1 year, 1 month ago

i thought crown land was for farming purposes originally, so no homes are supposed to be built on them unless they are apart of the farming process, now they say the house is nicely built, so in other words anyone only has to build a nice home on crown land and they can stay, these jokers are starting to fall under pressure and back pedal cant believe a word that comes out their mouth. if they can end up (whoever) with free land to build on then so should the rest of us period.

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DDK 1 year, 1 month ago

FNM has a new dance! It's called DA BACK STEP so you can ROC WID DOC!

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screwedbahamian 1 year, 1 month ago

If there is an unauthorized structure on Government Crown Land that was leased out for farming irregardless of who built it TEAR IT DOWN!! Do your JOB and enforce the law and be done with it. Everyone else has to obey the LAW.

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SP 1 year, 1 month ago

The FNM is full of bhit, ahit, chit, dhit, ehit, and shit!

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by SP

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bogart 1 year, 1 month ago

Pore Bahamians pays VAT to employ da Police .....so lets dem get da paddy wagon an haul off all da govt people who ....audderizes...dese BUILDING PERMITS TO BUILD ON DESE LANDS......SOMEBODY GATS TO BE ACCOUNTABLE.....BUILDING PERMITS DONT JUST MIRACOUSLY APPEARS....OR JUS GETS APPROVED....OR SIGNED..TO BUILD HOUSES ....ON ODDER PEOPLES PROPERTY.....pore Bahamians tax money must not go to employs people to do wrong tings..even da gas station pumps gats to be audderizes....by people...everybody knows this...!!!.

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