When Rev. Futtreman White and his wife of 38 years got married, one of their aspirations was to own a lot of land where they could build a house, raise their family, and engage in farming.
“We acquired that land many years ago.but were not able to get the proper document for the land,” the Point Hill Baptist Church pastor told JIS News.
Now, thanks to the Land Administration and Management Programme (LAMP), Rev. White and his wife have a piece of property that they can rightly claim as their own.
Councillor for the Point Hill division in St. Catherine, Devon Wint (left), presents resident of the community, Yvonne Johnson, with her certificate of title during the Land Administration and Management Programme’s (LAMP) recent presentation ceremony at the Point Hill Baptist Church. Mrs. Johnson was among 100 residents from Point Hill and its environs, who were assisted by LAMP in formalising their land holdings and received titles.
“We were so happy when LAMP came. and offered their services. We utilised that opportunity and, hence, we were able to secure (a) title for the land,” he says.
LAMP, which falls under the purview of the Office of the Prime Minister (OPM), was established by the Government in 2001, in an effort to address the large number of unregistered lots islandwide, by assisting landholders to secure titles.
Some 100 residents from Point Hill, Kitson Town, Garden Hill and surrounding areas in St. Catherine, who were assisted by LAMP in formalising their holdings, were presented with certificates of titles at a function held recently at the Point Hill Baptist Church. The beneficiaries had glowing accolades for the programme,
Rev. White said that LAMP also enabled him and his wife to make the necessary arrangements to have the name of their sole child and daughter added to the title.
Senior Administrative Assistant with the Land Administration and Management Programme (LAMP), Lisa Campbell (left), assists residents of Point Hill, St. Catherine with documents pertaining to their properties during LAMP’s title presentation ceremony held recently at the Point Hill Baptist Church. Some 100 residents, who were assisted by LAMP in formalising their land holdings, were presented with titles for their properties.
“This was done, and we are happy that, in the event that we pass on before her, she won’t have to worry about going to a lawyer to have the land transferred in her name because she would have already been on that document (title). We are happy that LAMP has been able to assist us so much,” he stated.
Another beneficiary, Yvonne Johnson, recounted the difficulties she faced in the aftermath of her husband’s death in 2001. She was left with property for which they had not yet secured a title, and no substantial finances. “There wasn’t any money to go through the regular (land registration) proceedings,” she pointed out, noting that without a title she could not sell any of the property.
“When I heard about LAMP, and that.they would be starting with St. Catherine, I was happy; I said ‘this is the answer to my prayers’. Many nights I would go to bed and when I wake up.., it (would) rest on me that.I have the land, but no papers, so what’s the use? I said, ‘God, what’s the use?.You give me this (land) and I cannot sell anything, I cannot go to the bank or anywhere with this, because there isn’t any paper for it,'” Mrs. Johnson said.
She was quick to point out, however, that on learning about LAMP, she undertook the necessary antecedents to get the relevant documents that were required to effect the registration process by the agency, which resulted in the formalisation of her holdings.
“I want to say a big thank you to LAMP. Thank you for your encouragement. Thank you (for) a job well done. God will reward you,” Mrs. Johnson said.
Spanish Town’s Mayor, Dr. Andrew Wheatley, who was the guest speaker at the title presentation function, commended LAMP for the “tremendous job” it has been doing since its inception.
“I believe that this is one of the projects that we can say is really working and. touching the lives (at) the grassroots (level). The beneficiaries will be getting their own title, their own piece of Jamaica, in their hands. It’s a known fact that the property tax receipt, at times, is the only proof of ownership.
“But you have passed that stage, where you have actually received titles that bear your own name, showing that you have legal interest in the piece of property (you currently occupy). I would like to encourage you (at LAMP). to continue on this path, because this is something good,.that we must encourage,” Dr. Wheatley said.