Squatters and homeowners who currently reside in the Bois d’Orange area will soon experience temporary disruptions to their livelihoods, as the Ministry of Housing, Physical Development and Urban Renewal plans to redevelop 13 acres of occupied crown lands in this area.
The Bois d’Orange Redevelopment Project was initiated under Cabinet Conclusion No. 508 of 2011 which granted approval of the use of Block 1053B Parcel 765.
This project initially came about as a result of Hurricane Tomas under the former administration, to cater to the needs of persons who were affected by the hurricane. But according to Minister for Housing, Physical Development and Urban Renewal Stanley Felix, the present administration has currently gone beyond this vision. The lands, he said, are not just earmarked to bring relief to Hurricane Tomas victims but to create new serviceable lots for persons who are in need of property for housing, and for those desirous of purchasing lands.
The 13 acre parcel consists of 67 lots and is occupied by about 33 home owners. Majority of these home owners are squatters with either permanent or movable homes constructed on this parcel of land. In addition, 29 new lots will be sold to the general public and proceeds from these will be used to defray some of the project cost.
“We have some lots here which will be sold to the existing residents,” said Project Manager Kirsten Lambert. “The remainder of the lots will be or have been given consideration to Hurricane Tomas victims as well as single parent families. Another component of this project is the relocation exercise. We have approximately five households who are presently in the way of the proposed infrastructure. It is the ministry’s intent to relocate these same five households to five other lots within the parcel.”
The relocation exercise is hoped to be completed by the end of the year. Moreover, squatters will be given first priority and provided with government assistance to purchase these occupied lots.
The minister said the price of land lots will be determined by the Cabinet.