JIS News

Story Highlights

  • Government is to acquire several properties as it moves to regularise the land occupation of 330 residents of informal settlements across the island.
  • The properties are to be acquired under the Local Improvement Community [Amenities] Act (LICA), which makes provision for the declaration of certain defined areas comprising specified lands, as special improvements (infrastructure) areas.
  • The Act also allows for the compulsory acquisition by the Government of a leasehold interest in such lands, and the carrying out of improvements on such lands in accordance with special improvements (infrastructure) schemes.

Government is to acquire several properties as it moves to regularise the land occupation of 330 residents of informal settlements across the island.

The properties are to be acquired under the Local Improvement Community [Amenities] Act (LICA), which makes provision for the declaration of certain defined areas comprising specified lands, as special improvements (infrastructure) areas.

The Act also allows for the compulsory acquisition by the Government of a leasehold interest in such lands, and the carrying out of improvements on such lands in accordance with special improvements (infrastructure) schemes.

Minister with responsibility for Housing, Hon. Dr. Morais Guy, made the announcement during his contribution to the 2014/15 Sectoral Debate in Parliament on Wednesday, June 4.

He noted that the areas targeted for this intervention include: 81 St. Johns Road, St. Catherine; 12 Whitehall Avenue, St. Andrew; 10 acres at Cloisters in St. Ann’s Bay, St. Ann; 10 acres at Darlington Drive in Old Harbour, St. Catherine; and 30 acres at Orange Valley in Salt Marsh, Trelawny.

The  Minister noted that these are in addition to the compulsory acquisition of two properties in Portmore Lane, St. Catherine, that were declared under LICA to facilitate the regularisation of 105 occupants, for which Cabinet has given approval.

“Cabinet also gave its approval for the acquisition of over 17 acres of LICA declared land at Paradise Park in Westmoreland to regularise the occupancy of some 60 residents,” he said.

Turning to divestment activities, Dr. Guy informed that the Ministry has been able to raise much-needed revenue to carry out a number of projects, including the continuation of its Housing Fund programmes.

“Substantial parcels of land are vested in the name of the Minister…proceeds from the sale of properties are then remitted to the Housing Fund. Last year, over 300 properties were divested which yielded revenue in the region of $150 million,” he explained.

The Minister said it is anticipated that the Government will be able to market significantly more than last year’s figure with a projection of over 1,000 lots.