An eviction notice was delivered to the home of Point resident Sharon Roberts who was at the center of a riot just a few weeks ago, but the missive was not accepted.
The letter, captioned “Notice of revocation of license to occupy”, was taken to Roberts’ Booby Alley home yesterday, but Roberts her- self was not available at the time.
An occupant of the house recounted to OB- SERVER media that they told Prime Minister Gaston Browne they would move only “if they find a house in the neighborhood” for the family. “I don’t have any prob- lem going to a house in the neighborhood.
The prime minister said he doesn’t have any problem with that. Now this morning we out here a bailiff came with the same letter you see there saying we have seven days to move but we never really take the letter; we left it there and it flew out,” the occupant said.
Other residents of the area did not hesitate to voice their outrage over the matter. In their recall of yesterday’s proceedings, they claimed that the home owners were almost bullied into taking the letter. According to them, police were brought to the home to pressure them into accepting the notice.
The notice, observed lying in a nearby gutter, was dated May 2nd 2019. It read: “Upon instructions of the Government of Antigua and Barbuda, the registered proprietor of the property described above which is situate[d] at Lower North Street, St. John’s Antigua, I hereby give you notice that you are to vacate the said property which you now occupy as licensee on or before Friday 26th April or within seven clear calendar days after the date of service of this notice upon you.”
It also says that failure to comply with the notice will result in legal action. Meantime, a resident of Booby Alley claims that the consultation held by Prime Minister Gaston Browne a few weeks ago with persons from the area was in fact saturated with non-residents.
“The last consultation that I call a half of consultation is not a consultation be- cause a lot of people in it who don’t live in Booby Alley,” he said. “If you are selling a pro- gram you have to get the people from the area; all the clapping in there is not Point people,” he continued. Roberts’ house, which shelters 15 people, was initially built under the HAPI program.
But residents have been told they would have to be relocated to accommodate the government’s redevelopment program for the area.
Just over two weeks ago, some residents of the Villa and Point community barricaded lower North Street and protested in solidarity with Roberts whose electricity was disconnected – a move they said was meant to force her and her family to leave Booby Alley.
Roberts is said to be still without electricity from that day. Browne, the representative for the area, said Roberts was chosen as the first to be relocated to make way for the development project.