The Private Sector Organization of Jamaica (PSOJ) is raising concerns about the response of some political representatives last week to a court ruling instructing that scores of illegal settlers be removed from a property in Westmoreland.
The 867-acre property in Little Bay hosts a community of some 500 informal households.
Member of Parliament for Western Westmoreland, Dr. Wykeham McNeil, Mayor of Savanna-la-mar, Bertel Moore, and Councillor for the Sheffield Division in Westmoreland, Garfield James, have come out in defence of the informal settlers, who’re resisting the court orders to leave the property.
President of the PSOJ, Howard Mitchell, says he accepts parliamentarians are to act in a way that will protect their constituents.
But, Mr. Mitchell says those constituents also include landowners, at risk of losing their properties to squatters.
The PSOJ boss says a national position to address squatting in Jamaica, is needed. He says some 700,000 Jamaicans, are engaging in the practice.
Last week, former Housing Minister Dr. Horace Chang told Nationwide News that the government is seeking to negotiate with the owners of the Little Bay property with a view to purchasing a section of the land to relocate the informal residents.