Task Force in meetings to prepare plan to address Unregulated Communities, says Minister of Works and Utilities

BIS Photo/Minister Alfred Sears - by Ulric Woodside

The government has put in place a Task Force to address Unregulated Communities.

The role of the inter-ministerial Task Force is to deter the building of new unregulated communities, encourage compliance with the Building Control Regulation Act, review, design an action plan and coordinate the dismantling of unregulated communities in The Bahamas.

The Hon. Alfred Sears, Minister of Works and Utilities told the House of Assembly recently that the committee has been meeting with great focus to prepare a holistic plan which would address matters concerning unregulated communities in the short and long term.

“Because of the sensitivity of this issue, I would not wish to say much more on this at this time, but as the work of the task force proceeds, we will continue to update this Honourable Parliament and the public,” said Minister Sears.

The objectives of the inter-ministerial committee are to:

1. Demolish all illegal structures that are in contravention of the law;
2. Prevent further developments through monitoring and evicting;
3. Legalize and regularize the property rights of occupants with a legal right to build on property occupied, i.e.: identify landowners and landlords;
4. Act against landowners and lessors of public lands who build unregulated structures, lease and rent such land and unregulated structures to tenants;
5. Prevent unplanned and unauthorized developments, especially those that are detrimental to human health, the environment, and the community; and
6. Promote planned developments through relocation and/or regularization by coordinating with other Ministries, agencies and communities.

Minister Sears informed that the communities are located in New Providence, Abaco, Eleuthera, and Andros, but similar communities are in other areas of The Bahamas.

“The Government is actively designing a comprehensive and humane strategy to address this matter following the dismissal of the court action and discharge of Injunction of 2018 which had prohibited the demolition of illegal structures in New Providence and Abaco,” he said.

From: Bahamas Information Services