Categorized | National News

Most Shantytown Residents Are Legal

A 15-page report into  unregulated communities or shantytowns in Abaco reveals that 80 per cent of those residents have legal status, while the other 20 per cent are undocumented.

This  announcement was made by the  Chairman of the Shantytown Action Task Force Committee, Dion Foulkes who gave an update to reporters outside yesterday morning’s weekly cabinet meeting.

“Our estimates, meaning the Shantytown Action Task Force estimates, is that for  those where there [is] no response, 138 households, we estimate, and this is only an estimate, that they comprise of about 500 residents,” he said.

“So the total amount of residents in all six shantytowns in Abaco equate to 3,500 compared to the figure in Nassau which is 1,410.”

Sen. Foulkes added that based on those surveyed, there are 332 minors who are attending school.

South Abaco shantytowns also represent 70 percent of the total number of households interviewed.

“That equates to 2,600 residents and so that would be Marsh Harbour proper where the two biggest shantytowns are,” he said. 

“As I said there are six in total, in the south there’s the “Mudd,” the “Peas” and also Elbow Cay, most people would know it as Hope Town.

“In the north, there’s Sand Bank which is outside of Treasure Cay, there’s the Farm Road, which is the old farm that existed in Treasure Cay several decades ago and there’s a small shantytown which has about 16 dwellings, called L and H.”

In terms of an update on the alternative housing for those Abaco residents – the reason they were given an extended deadline in the first place – Mr.  Foulkes said they’re still working on it.

“We have several committees that are meeting currently. As you know,  there is a court injunction that has prohibited us from following our action plan, but all of the things that we can do that do not relate directly to the shantytowns, we are doing.

“And one of them is a subcommittee that is considering alternative housing for the residents of the shantytowns in Abaco,” said the Minister.

The report is being read by members of  cabinet.

This is the first time a report has been done since the Abaco fires. 

Written by Jones Bahamas

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