Norwood Residents Welcome Land Titles

Photo: Marlon Tingling Minister without Portfolio in the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation, Hon. Dr. Horace Chang (right), presents Norwood resident, Curdillio Evans, with her land title. Ms. Evans, who has been living in the community for over 20 years, was among more than 100 residents to receive their titles during a ceremony held recently at the Norwood Seventh-day Adventist Church in St. James.

Story Highlights

  • Roderick Watson of Norwood, St. James, is a happy and proud landowner today. The tiler, who has lived in Norwood for 24 years, recently received the title for the property he calls home.
  • Mr. Watson tells JIS News that he has been yearning for the day when he would be presented with a title for his lot, and now his dream has come true.
  • Minister without Portfolio in the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation, Hon. Dr. Horace Chang, who was at the title presentation ceremony, congratulated the recipients.

Roderick Watson of Norwood, St. James, is a happy and proud landowner today.

The tiler, who has lived in Norwood for 24 years, recently received the title for the property he calls home.

He was among more than 100 residents of the community, who were presented with titles for property that they occupy, some for well over two decades.

The documents were handed over under the Housing Agency of Jamaica’s (HAJ) titling programme aimed at empowering Jamaicans living in communities across the island that have been regularised.

Mr. Watson tells JIS News that he has been yearning for the day when he would be presented with a title for his lot, and now his dream has come true.

Mr. Watson says he feels “empowered.”

“I am happy for this. It is a good moment. We have been longing for this for a long time and now nobody can call us squatters anymore. We now own a piece of Jamaica and I am proud,” he notes.
Another recipient, Curdillio Evans tells JIS News that it is a good feeling to finally be a landowner.

“I feel wonderful. It is great to know that I am now a proud owner of my land. I have achieved something that I wanted to achieve for a long time and I am really glad that I have reached that goal,” he says.

Maxine Hitchman, who has been living in the community for almost 20 years, could hardly contain her joy when she was presented with her title. She says she now has something to pass on to her children.

“I am happy, happy, happy. I can now use my land title to my benefit. If I want to take out a loan, this title will stand up for me as collateral and I can maintain the property and pass it on to my children,” she says.

Dorothy Headley, who tells JIS News that she was among the first group of citizens to call Norwood home, says with the titles residents can acquire loans to improve their financial situation and bring more wealth to the community.

Minister without Portfolio in the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation, Hon. Dr. Horace Chang, who was at the title presentation ceremony, congratulated the recipients.

“(These) are the individuals, who have actually paid down for their lots and are receiving their registered titles. This is a genuine registered title, insured by the Government of Jamaica, that demarks the property you are on and it is yours,” he pointed out.

He noted that they have made investments in their homes and community and have played a major role in changing how the area is viewed.

Dr. Chang urged the residents to recognise the value of their title and to use it appropriately.

“The Jamaican land title is an important piece of instrument. I think many of you have invested much in your homes over the years. You have worked hard, it has taken you a long time, a lot of hard work and sweat to put it there and your own self-worth, self-pride and ambition have given you a comfortable space,” he said.

He noted that the road improvement programme in Norwood will continue in an effort to keep pace with the rate of housing developments in the area.

Meanwhile, Minister Chang informed that the Government is embarking on a comprehensive programme to improve the infrastructure in informal communities.

This includes providing legal access to services and amenities such as electricity and water.

“There are thousands of Jamaicans living in such areas…what we want to do is to transform them. The programme will be adequately funded,” he pointed out.

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