Categorized | Featured, National News

Two Shantytowns Already Served Eviction Notices

Hon. Clay Sweeting

By: Licec Bastian

The government has rebooted its measures to tackle unregulated communities or
shantytowns in The Bahamas beginning with the posting of notices in selected areas
to notify affected person with illegal structures in shantytowns of the demolition
The Ministry of Works in a statement on Wednesday said “The Ministry has
established the Unregulated Communities Action Task Force (UCATF) to address the
critical safety concerns within unregulated communities in The Bahamas. With a deep
commitment to safety, community well-being and responsible urban development”
Minister of Works Clay Sweeting told reporters on Tuesday that the UCATF in a joint
operation began serving notices on Monday in two areas in the capital.
“So, we had a joint operation [Monday]; the Unregulated Task Force at the Ministry
of Works with partnerships from Immigration, Royal Bahamas Defence Force, Police
Force, Social Services and the ministry itself were successful in serving two locations
– All Saints Way and Kool Acres in New Providence where around 60 persons were
apprehended who did not have status.
“But the two unregulated town were served with their 30-day notice to collect their
belongings before we take action,” Minister Sweeting said.
While the minister could not say the number of illegal structures in those shantytowns,
he did say that the number of structures have increased over the past few months.
Works officials in its statement noted that should those who are given notices fail to
comply with the same, “the Minister of Works may, in accordance with Section 4(3)
of the said Act, pull down and remove the illegal structures and recover from him the
expenses reasonably incurred in doing so”.
Minister Sweeting asserted that they are only targeting those unregulated communities
without licences to build, specifically businesses.
“I also want to make the point that this is unregulated communities [where] licences to
build businesses were not approved. So, it’s not any specific target or grouping of
people. So, for us, we wanted to ensure that there’s not a specific target because we do
have some Bahamians that’s living in these communities as well. So that’s why we
ought to ensure that we include social services and other aspects to ensure that persons

that don’t have dwellings, ensure that they are assisted in whichever way needed,” the
minister said.
Minister Sweeting urged those in shantytowns to pay close attention to the official
notices from the ministry regarding the demolition schedule and safety guidelines as
well as to cooperate fully with authorities and follow instructions given for safety
“They have a 30-day eviction order. So they have 30 days to collect their belongings
after which you should see demolitions in those town,” Minister Sweeting said.
The government, back in May budgeted $600k for the UCATF, which Prime Minister
Philip Davis noted was a new line item of expenditure which would assist the
demolition of unregulated communities.
Former Minister of Works Alfred Sears, during contribution to the budget debate in
June said however, that the overall request was for $6.6 million.
The Ministry’s statement on the posting of eviction notices said: “Unregulated
communities can be described as undeveloped communities that have engaged in the
illegal building of structures that breach the Act and The Building Code. Unregulated
communities have long posed significant risks to both residents and the wider
community due to their lack of adherence to safety standards and zoning regulations.
“These communities lack some of the very basic necessities such as sewage and waste
disposal, clean water, safe electricity supply and the proper setbacks needed for safe
building structures.
“The mission of UCATF is not only to ensure the safety of residents but also to create
sustainable and inclusive neighborhoods for everyone.”
Agencies joining the Ministry of Work’s UCATF include Ministry Social Services,
Department of Immigration, Ministry of Health and Wellness, Ministry of
Environment, Ministry of Education, Ministry of National Security, Office of the
Attorney General and Bahamas Power and Light Company.
“This process is committed to securing the highest level of humanity and dignity. The
Ministry of Health and Wellness along with the Department of Social Services are
partners in this process and will reach out to each household within unregulated
communities to determine household make-up and needs. Given that some existing
residents within these communities will need to resettle/re-locate into regulated

housing, the UCATF is seeking to identify potential rental units in New Providence
and all islands where unregulated communities exist.
“If you are a landlord or property owner and have vacant rental units, we invite you to
visit our rental database portal at to list your vacant
“We remind you that the government is ONLY serving as a facilitator in this process
to connect potential tenants (relocating from UCATF), with potential landlords,” the
ministry’s statement added.

Written by Jones Bahamas

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Watch JCN Channel 14 Shows

Jcn Channel 14

Sign in now to see your channels and recommendations!

Join Us on Facebook