Gov’t firm on compulsory acquisition of Booby Alley lands

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The government will be going to parliament on Thursday to legally acquire all the properties around the Booby Alley area in Point.
Prime Minister Gaston, who is also the Member of Parliament for that area, said that after the matter is deliberated in Parliament, the Senate will pass the resolution in the following week, and thereafter, all of the properties will belong to the government of Antigua and Barbuda.
During an interview on Pointe FM, which he founded, the prime minister also revealed that residents currently living in the area will be compensated for their existing homes.
“We are also making provision to relocate them within the community. So, for example, on Fort Road where we have approximately two acres of land we will be building some apartment complexes to house them temporarily until we can complete the rebuilding of the Booby Alley area and we will be moving them back in,” Browne said.
The intention is to construct condominium-style homes as part of an Urban Renewal Programme that is expected to give residents in Booby Alley and squatters living in Perry Bay an opportunity to own better housing. Residents from Perry Bay will be moved to Booby Alley when the project is completed.
The project, comprising mainly rental properties, will be heavily subsidised, the government has repeatedly said. However, Booby Alley residents with private homes will be given credit for their existing properties.
Browne also stressed that there will be no displacement and people will pay for the homes based on their income.
Earlier this year, the prime minister told the media that the government expects to spend in excess of $20 million on the Booby Alley redevelopment and he was hoping to secure some of those funds through a grant from the government of Mexico.
In early October, the government also accepted a grant of EC $100 million from the People’s Republic of China to go towards with the construction of 150 homes in Booby Alley.

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