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Story Highlights

  • Special debt forgiveness programme called the Jubilee ‘50 for 50’ Housing Initiative
  • The 50 titles are among the approximately 7,000 titles to be transferred this fiscal year
  • The Jubilee ‘50 for 50’ Housing Initiative is symbolic of the administration’s social partnership with the people

Fifty Jamaicans from across the island will close out the country’s Jubilee year mortgage free, under a special debt forgiveness programme called the Jubilee ‘50 for 50’ Housing Initiative, by the Ministry of Transport, Works and Housing.

The beneficiaries were on July 30, handed their titles at a special ceremony, held at the Knutsford Court Hotel in Kingston.

Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Portia Simpson Miller, who delivered the main address at the event, noted that her administration has a firm commitment to put thousands of land titles in the hands of Jamaicans, through the Ministry of Transport, Works and Housing.

“We believe that security of tenure, the ability to own your house should be the right of every Jamaican. And so this gesture today is one of several programmes being implemented by the Ministry of Housing to provide opportunities for security of tenure for persons who have been occupying lands over a period of time,” Mrs. Simpson Miller said.

She however, warned against the capturing of land, noting that the Government has plans for the land.  “What is not for agriculture is to provide housing for our people and we are not into people breaking the law. (I am) not supporting it. Not in my constituency, not anywhere in Jamaica,” she emphasized.

Under the Jubilee ‘50 for 50’ Housing Initiative, the primary account holder should be 50 years or older; balance on the account should be less than $50,000; the account should not be inactive for more than 50 weeks; and the Registered Certificate of Title for the property should be available.

The Prime Minster pointed to the historical significance of the beneficiaries getting their titles just two days before Emancipation Day (August 1) and close to Independence (celebrated on August 6), noting that it was a  fitting tribute to “our ancestors whose struggles achieved freedom from slavery,” and to (National Heroes) Norman Manley and Sir Alexander Bustamante, who fought for independence.

She contended that the celebration of Emancipation should mean something to the nation. “That is why the government took the decision that the great, great, great grand children of our ancestors should benefit while we celebrate as we close out our 50th anniversary,” she said.

For his part, Minister without Portfolio in the Ministry of Transport, Works and Housing, Hon. Dr. Morais Guy, challenged beneficiaries to make good use of the money saved from the debt forgiveness exercise.

“The money that you will no longer be required to pay as mortgage this month, next month and all the other months that would have become due without this initiative, I want you to put it to good use. We are investing in you and in turn, we are urging you to invest in yourself, invest in your family, invest in your home and invest in your community,” he urged.

He noted that the 50 titles are among the approximately 7,000 titles that the Ministry is pushing to have transferred within this fiscal year.

The Minister also informed that the Jubilee ‘50 for 50’ Housing Initiative is symbolic of the administration’s social partnership with the people.