Basseterre, St. Kitts, April 12, 2022 (SKNIS): The Government of St. Kitts and Nevis, through the Ministry of Sustainable Development, has decided to regularize Willet’s Garden Housing Development in St. Paul’s, giving squatters in the area the opportunity to legally own the lands at discounted rates.
Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Sustainable Development, Elreter Simpson-Browne, gave a brief overview of the development, noting that residents casually called the area Amsterdam but in light of the upgrade it will now be called New Amsterdam.
“In or about 2008, the Government, through the Ministry of Sustainable Development, created low to middle-income housing development. During the design stage of the development, it was noticed that several young men had squatted on government lands in the vicinity and it was decided that it would be best to regularize their occupancy by incorporating these persons in the subdivision,” said Mrs. Simpson-Browne.
Mrs. Simpson-Browne indicated that the initial numbers grew since 2008, however, the Government will work to ensure that everyone benefits.
“At the time, the area had nine (9) squatters. However, during our recent field investigation, it was recognized that the area now has 16 squatters. To curb this abnormality, the ministry has decided to embark on another regularization exercise to fast track the distribution of the lands to the occupants,” said the Permanent Secretary.
She noted that work has commenced helping people live more comfortably.
“To assist the distribution exercise, the ministry has already completed the capturing of updated pictures using drones, collected field information by the surveyors of the department, redesigned the area and collected the names of the occupants,” she said. “In a few days, it is anticipated that we will commence installing the new boundaries to establish the new lot lines and road allowance.”
The Government, through the Ministry of Sustainable Development, embarked on a similar project in 2021, where approximately 90 residents who reside on properties at La Guerite Extension without title, right or lease, were offered discounted land rates, interest-free. The area is now called La Guerite North.