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Prove Right To Shanty Homes

Dion Foulkes, Minister of Labour.

Photo: Lionel Smith

Dion Foulkes, Minister of Labour. Photo: Lionel Smith

By RICARDO WELLS

Tribune Staff Reporter

rwells@tribunemedia.net

LABOUR Minister Dion Foulkes yesterday confirmed the start of the government’s three-part legal notice process for shanty town residents across the country, insisting the July 31 eviction deadline will be adhered to.

Speaking with reporters during the Senate’s lunch recess yesterday, Mr Foulkes, who spearheads the government’s Shanty Town Action Task Force, confirmed officers sanctioned by the body had commenced the delivery of a request for shanty town residents to show legal documentation of their right to the lands they now occupy.

According to the senator, the move was the first step in a three-part process that looks to definitively verify whether residents have a legal right to occupy the lands they now do, all while systematically removing those residing illegally.

“Today is the first round, which gives the residents in all the shanty towns an opportunity to show whether they have a legal right to be there,” he told reporters.

Mr Foulkes continued: “Whether they have an occupancy certificate or whether they have any conveyance for the land upon which they live.”

“That is one of the requirements that we have to do, pursuant to the advice from the Attorney General’s Office,” he said.

“The second round would be the actual notice which will be in two weeks, requiring all of those persons to move who do not have a right to be there.

“The third notice would be from the Department of Environment, which will give notice to all vehicle owners to remove their vehicles, that’s trucks, cars, motorcycles; whatever is there,” he said.

Mr Foulkes said if the process is not complied with, government agencies will immediately move in and “remove them.”

“But all of the legal notices will be given,” he added.

Mr Foulkes said upon completion of this process, the government would have completely removed all debris, unsanctioned homes, derelict vehicles, outdoor toilets and abandoned animals from the properties – rendering the lots vacant.

Last week Mr Foulkes indicated that 50 per cent of shanty town residents had already packed up and vacated various communities across the country.

That came on the heels of comments earlier this month when he confirmed the government remained on track with its eviction deadline, crediting specifically the continued efforts by various stakeholders in the shanty town communities.

The government’s survey was conducted in ten shanty towns over a four-week period from Elizabeth, Carmichael (Garden Hills), and Golden Isles constituencies, and with the help of 60 enumerators from various government agencies.

The populations of the communities were originally reported as: Montgomery Avenue, 115 residents; Allen Drive; 28 residents; Bellot Road; 10 residents; Golden Gates Road, 291 residents; Lazaretto Road, 56 residents; Cowpen Road (west), 165 residents; Bacardi Road east, 39 residents, and west, 96 residents; and Lumumba Lane, 160 residents. The report also included 27 residents who participated but were not categorised by location.

Comments

DDK 3 months ago

Looks like Government is finally moving in the right direction. What about the Family Islands?

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John 3 months ago

As long as there is a shortage of affordable housing some alternative forms of housing will pop up some where, some way. Persons looking for somewhere to live gives not being homeless a priority over not breaking the law. This is not exclusive to the Bahamas as vexing as the problem may seem.

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TalRussell 3 months ago

Ma Comrades, couldn't Dion have just dispatched workers from his ministerial offices large pool workers to check with Building Permits Department and Land Registry to learn whether or not any the Shantytown occupants have either an occupancy certificate or been granted a conveyance for the building and lands upon which they live?

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licks2 3 months ago

His reasoning just don't "fly" with me. . .shanty towns are uninhibitedly illegal. . .none of them meet city code. . .or are on other people's land!! I AM BEGINNING TO "SUSPECT" THAT THEY ARE LOSING THEIR "BALLS" TO MOVE FORWARD!! Lets see how they move forward. . .they think they got "jooked" in the VAT increase. . .let them make a wrong move with the shanty town promise. . .the DNA will for the first time become relevant. . .if they stop talking dumb politics all over the place. . .them two leaders een ger cut it for them!! The PLP is DOA!! Never to rise again. . .not with them crooks they have running that party now!!!

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TheMadHatter 3 months ago

Those counts are silly and WAY BELOW actual resident numbers.

But we will see when the land becomes vacant on Neverary 32nd.

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licks2 3 months ago

Een see that word from Neverary the 5th! Hahahahahahahahha!!!

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ashley14 3 months ago

Where are they suppose to go. Are they bothering anyone? Can they find employment? If not they will set up somewhere else. They don't enjoy being without a home and the basic necessities.

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licks2 3 months ago

You just don't get dude. . . if they are here legally they can move in with you. . .me. . or any other person. . .just not in shanty towns!! If they are here illegally. . . they need to go back to Haiti and do it there. Haitian need to learn that you just cannot "walk on" other people's property without their permission and build your empire and refuse to move away!!

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John 3 months ago

Who was the dumb idiots in New York and other places that tried to make being homeless a crime? So someone went to jail for being homeless and came back out it was even more difficult to find employment. Because now they have a criminal record. Honey can you drop the temperature a little on the a:c it’s a little hot today. And bring a big glass of smoking cold water for me pleeze.

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licks2 3 months ago

It is not "homelessness" that is the crime. . .but "setting up" your home in a public or private properties!!

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John 3 months ago

The laws specifically says it was illegal to be homeless within specific city or county limits. Most persons have learned to get around the ‘setting up’ law by using only tarps and cardboard boxes. And they are careful not to accumulate too much personal belongings so that can always be transient.

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licks2 3 months ago

YOU DON'T TAKE TIME TO READ CAREFULLY YA KNOW. . .HOMELESSNESS IS NOT A CRIME EVEN HAITI. . .MUCH LESS THE USA!! Illegal "squatting" is the violation of city ordinances. . .not being homeless!! Let me bring it home. . .in the Bahamas being homeless cannot get you arrested. . .being a vagrant will!!! Vagrancy is occupying public and or private spaces. . .setting up ya sleeping and living space. . .without permission!! John you really does really go far "up in the bushes " mentally to prove unprofitable and illogical points!!

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Well_mudda_take_sic 3 months ago

The shanty town population counts given at the end of the above article are absurdly low - and Foulkes knows it !

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licks2 3 months ago

I live near a big one. . .most of them moved away. . .they used to go back and forth like they own the whole area. . .now I see them one, one. . .

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sheeprunner12 3 months ago

We do not need shanty towns ANYWHERE in this country ........... so what about Abaco, Eleuthera, Exuma, GB, Bimini or Andros???????? ......... Haitian/illegals villages are found on ALL of those islands.

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ashley14 3 months ago

sheeprunner12 you already told me that I don't have don't have a opinion because I'm not Bahamian. I'm going to share anyway. I don't believe all shanty towns are full of just illegals. There are lots of Bahamian's that are unemployed. At least these people are free loading off family and friends. They have made shelter and are feeding themselves. Even here the other night I had a man ask me for money so he could join a gym to get a shower, he finally had a job interview the next day and needed to be dressed appropriately. I hope you do find yourself in their place, because any of us can end up in the same situation. Never say never.

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TalRussell 3 months ago

Ma Comrades, why even bother debate those steering and riding the red shirts clowns bus when the minister in charge doesn't even want to publicly acknowledge that the number Shantytowns in Nassau are not only greater than stated in his official report but the residents far outnumber the number stated in his official report.
Is there some kinds clown magic I am not aware of to shutting down Shantytowns that mysteriously stopped existing by their mere suddenness vanishing off island overnight to escape the official census takers? { Not making up this Imperial red shirts con job }.

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Bonefishpete 3 months ago

Papers Please. I see a market opportunity for the production of deeds and conveniences. The more official and legible looking a plus.

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licks2 3 months ago

You see a way to go to hell up in jail. . .or be deported toot-suit. . . slack government for sale is a thing of the pass dude. . .the FNM was never "fer dat" . . .this FNM is on steroids. . . they checking they maar and all!!

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