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JIS News

Ten families, formerly residents of the Causeway Fishing Village in Portmore, St. Catherine, have been presented with titles to their new properties in Portmore Villa by State Minister for Transport, Works and Housing, Hon. Richard Azan.

The titles were handed over during a ceremony held at the Ministry’s offices in Kingston, on September 24.

A total of 16 families who previously resided along the Causeway, were identified for relocation by the National Road Operating and Constructing Company Limited (NROCC). New houses were built for the fisherfolk in the Portmore Villa complex in collaboration with Food for the Poor.

Managing Director for NROCC, Ivan Anderson, said the movement of the persons from the Causeway to the new facility took place without any incident. "I think it's a model for how people can co-operate to bring about betterment for all," he said.

He advised the residents that homeownership is an important start in life and a big responsibility. "There are lots of obligations that you have, that you never had before, and if you're to keep the title, then you have to live up to these obligations to pay property taxes, to pay electricity," he said.

Land Acquisition Co-ordinator at NROCC, Peta-Gay Leslie, informed JIS News that the process of relocating the families started in 2009 when the families were removed to a temporary accommodation.

"They were there for almost a year and then last year, around November into January, persons started to move into their new homes. They've been there (at the new location) for almost a year now," she said.

She said the procedure took some time, as in processing the documentation; it was found that several persons did not have some of the documents needed to receive a title, such as a birth certificate and a Tax Registration Number (TRN). She noted however, that the agency assisted the residents as best as possible to acquire those documents.

Ms. Leslie informed that the remaining residents should get their titles as soon as their documents are processed.