Categorized | Featured, National News

Shantytown Demolition Set for Monday


Journal Staff Writer
On Monday, the demolition of unregulated communities, commonly known as shantytowns, will
begin in the areas of Kool Acres and All Saints Way.
On October 2, a 28-day eviction notice was sent by the Unregulated Communities Action
Taskforce to 162 structures in these communities.
Minister of Works and Family Island Development Clay Sweeting said these communities are a
danger to the country and the government’s mandate is the safety and welfare of its citizens and
lawful residents.
“The decision to proceed with those demolitions follows a rigorous, multi-phase evaluation. One,
structural public health and social assessments. Two, the issuance of 28-day warning notices on
all illegal structures. Three, documentation of structural details and mapping. Four, establishment
of a help desk for all concerns and complaints. Five, comprehensive community surveys,
including immigration assessments, and six, the creation and continuous updating of a rental
database for housing alternatives. This methodology emphasizes our commitment to procedure,
humanity, and dignity. The Ministry of Health and Wellness, together with the Department of
Social Services, will work hand in hand to evaluate and address household needs within these
communities,” he said on Tuesday.
Increased patrols will begin in the areas this week along with a no trespassing notice.
The government will also assist individuals living in the areas until demolition.
Minister Sweeting said following the demolition, assessments will continue to prevent
redevelopment of these communities.
“Our actions are backed by Section 4, Subsection 3 of the Building Regulations Act, Chapter

  1. In New Providence alone, there exists more than 10 unregulated communities. On October
    2nd, notices were issued to 162 structures in the Kool Acres and All Saints Way communities.
    Surveys undertaken on October 21st provided vital data on the resident’s conditions. The five
    days following the 28-day notice will witness intensified monitoring by the Royal Bahamas
    Police Force and the Royal Bahamas Defence Force. We have identified rampant cases of
    buildings being occupied without the necessary inspections or granted occupancy certificates.
    Let this action be a clear and unequivocal message that the Government of the Bahamas has a
    zero-tolerance policy towards illegal and unregulated structures,” the works minister said.
    Now there have been some concerns from work permit holders, Bahamians and immigrants that
    they would be left with no place to go following this demolition.

Minister Sweeting said Social Services will be assisting Bahamians with housing, but those who
employ permit workers are mandated to provide housing.
“The priority is, we understand that Bahamians do live in these shantytowns, well, unregulated
communities. So, we ensure that the Bahamians are assisted. We have to realize this is a multi-
agency. So, you have immigration that’s involved as well. So, then you have persons who don’t
have any permits [or] don’t have any papers that regulate them being in The Bahamas, which was
dealt with the original day when the notices were issued,” he said.
“Yeah, well the work permit holder is obligated by law that if you get a permit for an individual
that you are to provide housing for them. That is immigration law.
“Yeah, so I assume as we continue to move this, throughout the country that would be a part of
the exercise. I mean, it would be an immigration matter, but I anticipate that as you move
through different communities, that you would have persons that don’t have permits or don’t have
status. I’m sure that’ll be a part of the exercise. And that’s why the task force involves
immigration and police and defence force to ensure that all matters are addressed.”
While Minister Sweeting said he does not have a date for when the other shantytowns across the
country will be addressed, he contended that it is a process.

Written by Jones Bahamas

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