JIS News

The Land Administration and Management Programme (LAMP) in the Office of the Prime Minister (OPM) has partnered with several financial institutions to fund the second phase of the land titling initiative, dubbed LAMP II.
Under this partnership, the institutions will provide loans to landholders in St. Elizabeth, Clarendon and parts of Manchester, to fund the attendant costs to register their properties.
Institutions participating are: National Housing Trust (NHT), National Commercial Bank (NCB), Jamaica National Building Society (JNBS), First Caribbean International Bank, Capital and Credit Merchant Bank, People’s Cooperative Bank, and St. Elizabeth Cooperative Credit Union.
Details of the partnership were announced during a media launch at the offices of the Department of Local Government on Hagley Park Road, St. Andrew on Thursday (November 4).
LAMP’s Project Director, Gloria Brown, welcomed the collaboration, which she said, is expected to “accelerate the titling programme.”
“With over 40 per cent or nearly 400,000 parcels of lands unregistered, there is need for a radical shift in the approach to registration. LAMP, in its effort to complete the processing of over 15,000 titles, gladly welcomes its new partners,” she said.
LAMP was piloted in St. Catherine in 2000, and was expanded to incorporate Clarendon, Manchester, St. Elizabeth, and St. Thomas, with St. Mary, St. Ann and Portland added recently. The community of Rose Town in Kingston has also been declared a LAMP area, “in order to sort out one of the urban squatter settlements,” Mrs. Brown informed.
She noted that the programme has been successful in providing persons with registered titles for their land. “We have an 88 per cent success in registration, compared to a 20 to 40 per cent success at the private bar,” she said.
She credited the high level of success to the passing of the Special Provisions Act, which addresses the major problem of subdivisions, cost and route of title. Under the Act, all applications for first registration are based on tax roll value, so all the cost will relate to the value of the property on the tax roll.
“Route of title is restricted to 12 years, so you do not have to prove the route of title going from the 1940s and 1950s. Also, the Minister has the right to waive the applications of the Local Improvements Act. Hence that has solved the problem of subdivision,” she noted further.
Ms. Brown thanked the financial partners and called on other private sector interests to partner with LAMP to have the nearly 400,000 parcels of lands without titles, registered.
“We call on board everybody, to assist us in the titling process. LAMP, I think, is here to stay, and we think that LAMP can impact the lives of individuals. The aim is to bring more Jamaicans into the formal structure, which is why we want to thank the institutions, who have joined with us to assist our clients in accessing credit so we can expedite the process,” Ms. Brown stated.
Chairman of LAMP and State Minister with responsibility for Local Government, Hon. Robert Montague, welcomed the partnership. He noted that even with the statutory waivers and reduction in fees provided under LAMP, many landowners cannot afford the registration fees and other attendant costs, which range between $35,000 and $110,000.
“We still found persons hesitating to come forward because they were having a difficulty in finding the $35,000,” he said.
“What these patriotic financial institutions have done in coming forward, is to package a product unique to themselves that speaks to a specific segment of the market that is out there. I really want to pass on the congratulations and commendations of the Government. I must say that the seven institutions have proven that they are not only responsive and responsible, but that they are 100 per cent Jamaican and committed to the national goals,” Mr. Montague contended.
He assured that once a client qualifies for assistance they will not be turned away. “So whether the amount (required) is $100 million or $1 million, our financial institutions are committed to carrying the client through the process,” Mr. Montague said.
Work under LAMP II, which was launched earlier this year, is expected to be completed within three years.

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