Where do they go after demolitions?

Activist Louby Georges.

Activist Louby Georges.


Tribune Chief Reporter 


ACTIVIST Louby Georges has said available housing in Abaco will be the biggest challenge for residents of The Farm shanty town with a government mandated eviction and demolition looming.

Mr Georges said while he does not endorse people breaking the law, the government should have released a comprehensive plan in response to the island’s housing crisis, which he said has remained a glaring issue since Hurricane Dorian ravaged Abaco in 2019.

A single mother-of-six living in The Farm has said her family’s future is uncertain with an eviction and inevitable demolition hanging over their heads.

The Bahamian born woman, who asked not to be named, told The Tribune yesterday that she only earns a minimum wage, adding it will be virtually impossible to afford anywhere else to live.

While she admitted that The Farm is not where she wants to live, it has been easier to provide a life for her and her children there with minimal living expenses to pay.

She said she had no idea where they will go once the government acts on the eviction notices and warnings that were doled out last Thursday during a multi-agency sting in the area.

Her plight is likely the same scenario for many in that community, Mr Georges said in an interview.

“There is a lot of uncertainty,” Mr Georges said. “Truth be told I surmise that 14 days will come and also 28 days will come up and persons will be right there not because they want to be stubborn, not because they want to be defiant, but simply because there isn’t anywhere to go because of the elephant in the room.

“The issue that is the biggest in Abaco is available housing. That is the crux of the matter.

“Yes, listen—I do not support anyone breaking any rules, living in substandard conditions—but in some instances persons may be forced because they have no other choice but to do it.”

He also said: “I don’t support that but as a government, as leaders I would think that any decision that we take regarding humans, we should temper that decision with human rights in mind and with the human element in mind.

“We do not want to do essentially what Hurricane Dorian did, which is displace people.

“Hurricane Dorian destroyed all of the homes that existed. Subsequent to that thousands of persons ended up being displaced.

“Those displaced persons we had to house, we had to feed and/or take care of them in shelters in Nassau and to a lesser degree some other islands across the country for an extended amount of time. Why? Because there were no homes.”

Asked who he thinks the responsibility should fall on, Mr Georges said there needed to be a national conversation, adding the issue was not whether the residents would need more time, but the lack of a proper plan.

“For me it’s not really a matter of time. What I am not seeing and what the public is not seeing is a comprehensive plan that says maybe phase one, we identify housing that is available or maybe phase one we go with the bulldozers and we tear the houses down but in phase two because we have identified housing or shelters the displaced persons as a result of their homes being demolished will be able to go this way or that or in these shelters.

“Bahamians won’t and I know I won’t be happy with us forcibly displacing people and then my tax payer dollars have to now take care of these people so it’s not just a matter of giving people time to figure it.

“…Where in the world these people going to go and what is the plan when these people are displaced?”

At Parliament on Monday, Public Works Minister Desmond Bannister said the sting operation took place because of continued challenges with the area.

The issues included unsanitary conditions and the theft of Bahamas Power and Light wiring to illegally connect structures to power.

There was also a proliferation of commercial grade generators and people selling electricity for a weekly charge among other things. The generators were confiscated.

During the sting, many of the roads in The Farm were blocked off, with eviction notices handed out for structures that were built after a December 17, 2018, Supreme Court issued order prohibiting construction.

Two types of notices were given: first for incomplete and unoccupied structures, and another advising that they will be demolished after 14 days in accordance with the provisions of the Planning and Subdivisions Act.

For occupied structures, the notices advise demolition after the passage of 28 days in accordance with the Building Regulations Act.


Dawes 2 years, 5 months ago

Herein lies a big problem, and one Government needs to deal with. They can't just demolish the homes if there is nowhere for people to live. They should come up with a sensible solution that works for all. Also if there are illegals then deal with that issue. As a note whilst i feel for the lady in this article, why in the world would you have 6 kids if you can't afford to look after them. At some point people need to realize having that many children will mean you will never have enough (you could earn $100,000 and still struggle with 6 kids).


Sickened 2 years, 5 months ago

Where do they go? They go find a place to rent just like other people do. While they rent they try so save up to buy a piece of property or a home. If you can't afford the cost of living in a particular area or island you move to where you can. It's called living in a civilized society.

I would love to live in New York City for a few years but I know I can't afford it so I suck it up and live in Nassau.


birdiestrachan 2 years, 5 months ago

This situation is not new. they had lots of time to prepare for someplace to live. but they continued to build with no regard for the law..

It is my hope that the lady with the six children will see that their father or fathers if they are alive will step up and become responsible.


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