The Ministry of Transport, Works and Housing, has launched a titling programme, aimed at further empowering a large segment of the Jamaican population who reside in Operation PRIDE schemes all across Jamaica.
"Over 10,000 Operation PRIDE beneficiaries will now be afforded the opportunity of having their individual splinter titles transferred to them, thereby providing security of tenure for lands which beneficiaries have occupied for decades," Minister without Portfolio in the Ministry of Transport, Works and Housing, Dr. Morais Guy said.
The Minister was making his contribution to the 2012/13 Sectoral Debate in the House of Representatives, on July 10.
Dr. Guy informed that so far, two title handing over ceremonies were held in St. Benedicts, in East Rural St. Andrew, and Wentworth in Central St. Mary, noting that this process will continue across the island throughout the 2012/13 fiscal year.
Meanwhile, the Minister pointed out that by separating land ownership from infrastructure development, the Ministry has succeeded in providing benefits which are commensurate with land ownership.
Some of these benefits include: title recipients are able to access secured loans from the National Housing Trust, Building Societies, Credit Unions and other financial institutions to construct and/or improve their homes, and by extension their communities; and their incorporation into mainstream society, as title recipients will be able to pay property taxes for their lots and be counted as “proud home owners."
Other benefits include: legal access to formalised services and amenities, such as electricity and water connection; legal status and recognition from non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) and charitable organisations, in order to assist in community development; the incremental development of communities, with financial institutions being able to offer secured construction loans to assist in further infrastructural development; and more orderly and organised communities and transferrable assets, which can be passed on from generation to generation.
"This programme will undoubtedly benefit individual Operation PRIDE allottees, and the Jamaican society as a whole. I remain steadfast in my view that, by reinstituting pride in self and community, many of the social ills which are associated with informal settlements, can be addressed, and communities enhanced,” Dr. Guy said.
He added that the titling programme will “therefore have far reaching benefits, not only in this our 50th year of Jubilee, but in many years to come, as it takes us closer to our 2030 Vision."
Vision 2030 Jamaica is the country’s first long-term national development plan, which aims at enabling Jamaica to achieve developed country status by 2030. It is based on a comprehensive vision: “Jamaica, the place of choice to live, works, raise families and do business."
By Latonya Linton, JIS Reporter