Sixty residents of Flankers and Norwood in St. James are now proud recipients of land titles from the Housing Agency of Jamaica (HAJ).
The residents, some of whom have been waiting for their land titles for over 30 years, received the instruments on Friday, January 25, at a ceremony held at the Flankers Multi-Purpose Centre. The handing over was part of continued efforts by the HAJ to deliver full ownership of land titles to thousands of residents across the island.
Addressing the ceremony, Minister with responsibility for Housing, Hon. Dr. Morais Guy, urged the recipients to pay their property taxes, and then demand of the local Parish Council, that it provides them with improved services such as proper garbage collection.
The Minister said the communities have now been transformed and advised the residents to look out for each other and their children, as a way of building unity.
“No longer will an individual, hearing about Flankers, think about fire… When (they) hear about Norwood, they start thinking about a community of people who have shed certain characteristics; are owners of their own property and have thought to develop their community with the civic pride and the social and economic mobility…attendant on you getting your titles,” Dr. Guy said.
He urged the residents to get to know their neighbours. “I want you to be a part of the community that you are in, to be involved in everything. Know your neighbours, know your neighbours’ children, assist them and protect them. That is the way that you can build a strong and vibrant community,” the Minister stated.
Also attending the ceremony was Member of Parliament for North West St. James, Dr. Horace Chang, who stated that the land titles have given the residents a new legitimacy to make bold investments.
Dr. Chang said that the communities have seen significant improvements in recent years, and noted that other infrastructural developments will be continuing.
The Housing Ministry and the HAJ will be continuing the land title initiative throughout the year by providing titles to residents of the former Operation PRIDE communities across the island.