JIS News

Story Highlights

  • Seventy residents of Ebony Park Housing Scheme, in Toll Gate, Clarendon, were presented with titles to their land on October 11, ending decades of waiting.
  • Housing continues to remain a strategic priority for the Government, as it seeks to enhance the welfare of the Jamaican people.

Seventy residents of Ebony Park Housing Scheme, in Toll Gate, Clarendon, were presented with titles to their land on October 11, ending decades of waiting.

Handing over the titles, Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Portia Simpson Miller, told them that they were getting a flexible instrument that guarantees ownership, improves capacity to borrow,  enables the transfer of property, and ultimately to broaden the productive capacity of the community.

“Here at Ebony Park, we have taken another step in our march to community development and progress. This step will further empower many of our people and many of our families. This step articulates one aspect of the social policy of my administration, that of having an improved housing stock all across Jamaica and also enabling our people to be more productive,” Mrs. Simpson Miller said.

She explained that from the outset, the emphasis of the Ebony Park project was on expanding agricultural output,  adding that there is also the prospect of duplicating the Ebony Park experiment and benefits to surrounding communities.

The Ebony Park Housing Scheme began under the regime of  the late former Prime Minister, Michael Manley, in the 1970s. Some 200 two bedroom houses were to be built, particularly for young men and women with an interest in agriculture, with the wider vision being to allot each household an additional five acres of land in a section of the community which would be used for farming purposes. The project changed in the 1980s with approximately 50 per cent of the houses being built.

“We want Jamaicans, as many as possible, to own a piece of this rock and say this is for me and my children,” she said.

In the meantime, Minister with responsibility for Housing in the Ministry of Transport, Works and Housing, Hon. Dr. Morais Guy, noted that the project was long overdue.

“This ceremony marks the finalization of a pledge of home ownership made to you over three decades ago by the then Michael Manley administration of the 1970s. With the physical structure having been put in place, this administration has now sought to conclude that pledge by handing you the titles to your home,” Dr. Guy said.

He noted that this is indicative of the fact that housing continues to remain a strategic priority for the Government, as it seeks to enhance the welfare of the Jamaican people.

Dr. Guy also informed that by the end of the fiscal year, approximately 5,000 persons will receive their titles as the Ministry/Housing Agency of Jamaica (HAJ) accelerates its distribution of land titles.

“To the title recipients here at Ebony Park, you have all been given an additional investment tool that will serve to stimulate growth and progress. The prospects entail using that title to secure loans to expand on your lots, start a business or finance your children’s education,” the Minister said.