PM says Booby Alley residents have “no choice” but to move from the land

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Booby Alley

Prime Minister Gaston Browne has said that the $50 million dollar plan to redevelop the impoverished Booby Alley community will go ahead by force if it has to.

Government will pass the resolution on Thursday to acquire all the lands in the Booby Alley area for the construction a variety of housing options.

However, some residents are fearful that they will be disenfranchised in the process and may be left with less than they have now, if the project does not go as envisioned.

Browne who is also Member of Parliament for the area, is adamant that the project must go on.

“I am very strong on this issue,  it has to happen,” he told Pointe FM during an interview over the weekend.

The prime minister said while he is sensitive to the genuine fears of residents, and will make himself available to speak to them, “I want them to know at the end of the day they have no choice.”

“Its going to happen and what is required is their full cooperation,” he said.

There are over 110 houses cramped on just three and a half acres of land in the Booby Alley area, which has also had its share of violent crime.

The prime minister thinks this is a once in a lifetime opportunity to transform the area for the better.

“It’s a great opportunity for the people and I just want to encourage them to embrace this opportunity to own a better home and an opportunity to live better,” he told radio listeners.

“We have to understand that when people live in poor housing, under poor sanitation and so on it has implications for the wider community,” he said.

Browne added, “So when we redevelop the Booby Alley area we are not only helping the resident of Booby Alley but were helping the broader community, because if they contract any contagious disease the disease could spread throughout the community.”

Residents will be placed in rented homes and other properties while construction is underway.

It will be done in phases and is projected to begin at year’s end.

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15 COMMENTS

  1. I support the PM 100% on this issue. Kick the people out of those crappy houses and use force (eminent domain) if you have to. Sometimes people don’t know what is good for them and you have to treat them like little children even though they are adults. Known all those awful ‘houses’ down and build some quality small Antigua homes, with a good master-plan, in the same place.

    Thank you PM Browne for taking on these tough issues that many other PM’s have avoided over the years!

  2. REALLY REALLY THIS PEOPLE WOULD BE SOFT TO MOVE BUT UP TO NOW THEY CANT MOVE THE SPANISH PEOPLE FROM DOWN PERRY BAY LOL ….MEMBER FYBRI THEY MOVE THOSE PEOPLE FROM THERE TO A PLACE IN BENDALS JUST PLACE THEM ON A PLOT OF LAND JUST SO NO INFRASTRUCTURE….BUT THEY LOVE POOR PEOPLE…THEY LOVE THEIR POCKETS…….WELL MOST OF THEM DRINK RED KOOLAID SO THEY WILL GO ….

  3. A new shinny building with a fresh coat of paint will not change the way they think or operate. They will still be Booby alley people living in a new shelter.

    The upgrade is certainly an excellent start a fresh start that hopefully can ignite a consciousness within which will propel them to an improved way of life.

    Big up to the PM good move it’s a pitty the former did not deliver in like manner

    Say one say two certain secs will benefit financial from this. THE UNSEEN PUPPETEER. the crumbs is for the Booby alley people.

    • Studies have shown that when you break up getthoes and place the same people in different environment they tend to act socially better. Although the adjustment is big. I remember the TV series in the old days Beverly Hill Billies. When this poor farming family moved to the rich neighborhood in Beverly Hill, they had many issues adjusting to their new surrounding. And you see it here as well when certain people move into new suburbs. They take some of their habit with them

  4. Just because you can doesn’t mean you should. Gaston has no regard for born Antiguans especially the poor as he demonstrates continually. Yes this area is an eyesore but perhaps the area would be better suited to commercial use or even a parking lot for St John’s. The big question should be where are these people to go and how will they be made whole by this scheme. This needs to be aired in a public forum that includes the residents and everyone with an idea to contribute. Gaston’s visions are usually not realistic.

  5. Time for the place to get a make over. All them zinc, galvanize and rotten old houses need to go. Do understand the fears of the residents but it’s time to move into the 21st century people.

    • Studies have shown that when you break up ghettos and place the same people in different environment they tend to act socially better. Although the adjustment is big. I remember the TV series in the old days Beverly Hill Billies. When this poor farming family moved to the rich neighborhood in Beverly Hill, they had many issues adjusting to their new surrounding. And you see it here as well when certain people move into new suburbs. They take some of their habit with them

    • Ask Baldwin Spencer. He was the MP for 30 years. PM for 10 years. What did he do for HIS constituency during that time??

  6. This is moving into the realm of eminent domain. I can agree that the area is in need of a make over, however, bullying tactics should not be the medium used to make it happen. People deserve to be respected, and need to be heard. These folks have lived there all along. lets put ourselves in the place of these folks and feel what it will be like to be uprooted and simply settledown as though you are still connected to everything around you; after all it’s the place they have called home, delapitaed or not.

  7. I wonder when the government will do something about the dilapidated houses right in the middle of town. They are really an eyesore for our tourism products. Like the other I was walking on Newgate Street right next to PIC insurance. This man lives there like a rat. And he has his door open for you to see all the filthiness he has inside. No pride whatsoever. I cannot believe we are going to spend that much money on a new Cruise Ship Pier but we still cannot tackle these things like derelict buildings and overgrown pieces of lands and stray dogs in our City. We will therefore continue to be seen as a Shanty Town.

  8. A lot of these people are not paying rent at the moment whether by choice or because they can’t afford to. Who is going to be the landlord and be accountable for collecting the rent? We know that once it is government property people think it should be free. When will the public be provided all the details? Something is missing.

  9. That place is a disaster waiting to happen.Anyone who protest against this development is akin to been treasonous.. Where do the politics come into this? Have some of you ever been through Booby Alley? There is hardly anything there to hold unto to,its mostly shambles.. Mr PM do what you need to do,in the end all the naysayers and treasonous political clowns will eat their words.

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