JIS News

MANDEVILLE — Beneficiaries of the Land Administration and Management Programme (LAMP) in St. Elizabeth are lauding the initiative for making them proud land owners.

The Government programme helps Jamaicans obtain certificates of title for property they occupy.

"Nothing has brought me greater satisfaction to date than to receive the title for my father, who died in 1962," said Glasceta Honeyghan at a handing over ceremony held on June 22 at the Pines Plaza in Junction.

She recalled that she was 13 years old when her father died leaving her and another sibling. She said after living overseas for many years, she returned to Jamaica and was advised to contact LAMP for assistance to formalise settlement.

"I was a bit skeptical but I was assisted, and treated with respect and dignity. My questions were answered and today, I proudly accept (this title) on behalf of my father. I am grateful to the Government of Jamaica and those who assisted me in this process," she stated.

More than 50 land titles were handed over at the ceremony, which marked the first anniversary of LAMP 11.

Beneficiary, Normalee Thompson, told JIS News that she found the process of getting the land title easy. "I am really happy and I want to thank LAMP for their efficient service and I hope they will continue to do good for everyone," she stated.

Carl Thomas informed that he will be using his title to start a small business.  "Having and holding a title, I can do what I want to do, and I am going to see how much I can do with it by doing a little business that I can benefit from," he noted.

LAMP was launched as a pilot in St. Catherine in 2000 to deal with the overwhelmingly large number of unregistered parcels of land in the island.

The programme has since been extended to St. Thomas, Clarendon, St. Elizabeth, Manchester, St. Mary, St. Ann, Portland, and parts of St. James, with the passing of the Special Provisions Act, which allows for the Government to declare project areas and to speed up the process of cadastral mapping and tenure clarification to facilitate the easy and inexpensive processing of applications for land titles.

Under LAMP, stamp duty and transfer tax are waived. For first registration, all applications and fees are based on the tax roll value of the land and not on the improved value. LAMP has also implemented a payment plan for beneficiaries and also provides access to financial institutions.

The second phase, which is slated to be completed in 2012, seeks to accelerate the land registration process in the parish of St. Elizabeth, Manchester and Clarendon. It involves collaboration with Korea Cadastral Survey Corporation, and Geoland Title Limited, a Jamaican-owned company. Unlike the initial phase, surveying services is being provided under LAMP 11.

Meanwhile, Mayor of Black River, Councillor Jeremy Palmer, in endorsing the programme, said it has delivered on its mandate to help persons receive land titles at reduced cost within a relatively short period of time.

He stated that LAMP has made "phenomenal strides in this parish and the citizens, who have received their titles, are overjoyed, and we want to make sure that more people will qualify and get benefit from it."

Mayor Palmer noted that the initiative will boost entrepreneurship in St. Elizabeth. "This parish has a long history of very strong entrepreneurialship both in agriculture and in other small businesses. We believe that having a proper title to your land is important to advance your investment ventures. We want to congratulate the LAMP infrastructure for the work that they are doing," he stated.

By Garfield Angus

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