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JIS News

Story Highlights

  • The Housing Agency of Jamaica (HAJ) is targeting 16 communities across the island under its land-titling programme, aimed at providing citizens with formal documentation for the property that they occupy.
  • HAJ Managing Director, Gary Howell, told JIS News that special emphasis will be placed on nine communities, namely Norwood, Flanker, Lilliput, Meadowsvale, Pitfour 3, and Retirement 1 in St. James; St. Benedict’s in St. Andrew; Boscobel in St. Mary; and Whitehall 1 in Westmoreland.
  • “While these communities targeted for this particular phase of our regularisation exercise are our main focus at this point, residents of other PRIDE communities are also expected to comply,” Mr. Howell noted.

The Housing Agency of Jamaica (HAJ) is targeting 16 communities across the island under its land-titling programme, aimed at providing citizens with formal documentation for the property that they occupy.

The communities to benefit from the land regularisation exercise are part of a number of informal settlements indentified under Operation PRIDE.

HAJ Managing Director, Gary Howell, told JIS News that special emphasis will be placed on nine communities, namely Norwood, Flanker, Lilliput, Meadowsvale, Pitfour 3, and Retirement 1 in St. James; St. Benedict’s in St. Andrew; Boscobel in St. Mary; and Whitehall 1 in Westmoreland.

The residents are expected to come forward to make their outstanding payments in order to receive their titles.

“While these communities targeted for this particular phase of our regularisation exercise are our main focus at this point, residents of other PRIDE communities are also expected to comply,” Mr. Howell noted.

He told JIS News that the HAJ also intends to connect residents of the targeted communities with essential social and supportive services where possible.

“Over 40,000 residents, including teachers, nurses, hotel workers and self-employed persons, are now proud title-holders as a result of similar initiatives by the HAJ,” he noted.

Mr. Howell is urging lot holders to use the opportunity to negotiate with the HAJ regarding workable payment terms.

Persons who remain non-compliant run the risk of losing their lots to open-market purchasers if they are put up for sale at some point in the future.

“Without a title for a particular piece of land, the resident has no legal claim to the property. This makes them vulnerable when developers are negotiating to acquire parcels for construction. There is very little we can do to protect the settlers at that point,” Mr. Howell pointed out.

The HAJ is a major player in the national titling programme launched in 2012 and includes other key entities such as the National Land Agency (NLA), Administrator General and the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation.