Treasury hands out “cheapest ever” land lease agreements to canal squatters

The Treasury Department yesterday (Aug 18) presented lease agreements to a total 906 families living in seven communities along the Lat Phrao canal under the government’s effort and measures to regulate canal squatters in the capital.

The presentation of the agreement described to be the lowest rent in the country despite its potential location was presided over by Patchara Anuntasilpa, the director-general of the Treasury Department.

He said after presenting the lease agreement to canal squatters, he didn’t think there would be any where in this country that the rent in such good location would be as cheapest as it.

Monthly rents of 28 baht will be charged for a maximum term of 30 years.

He said Lat Phrao canal runs through the entire capital from Lat Phrao to Sai Mai district, meaning that the canal connects to many housing estates and businesses districts.

Mr Patchara said under the measure to regulate canal squatters in the capital, Lat Phrao and Bang Sue canals would be first regulated.

The Treasury Department will be providing these cheap leases for more than 6,800 families living in 50 canal communities.

He admitted that the introduction of these measures had met with some complications and delays not least of which are difficulties involving eviction.

As such, the Treasury Department plans to garner the cooperation of the entire community before moving ahead with eviction and demolition.

Under the plan, it will be providing cheap lease agreements for state owned properties along the Lat Phrao canal to seven communities to help solve the problem of squatters encroaching on public canal.

In accordance with the government’s plans to regulate encroachment of public area especially along Bangkok’s canals; which involves the efforts of the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration, the Ministry of Social Development and Human Security, and the Treasury Department, provisions for new lodgings have been made available to replace the homes which the squatters were evicted from.

These include 100,000-300,000 baht loans for house construction while charging an interest of 4% per annum.

Alternatively, these loans can be repaid in installment payments of 1,000-2,000 baht/month. As a further incentive for these squatters who are usually very poor, a rent of 1-4 baht/month for every 1 square wa of state owned properties leased will be provided so that they can run small businesses to earn a living.

Source: Thai Public Broadcasting Service (Thai PBS)

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