JIS News

Eighty-eight-year-old, Lucille Tomlinson was among 60 persons from Phase Seven (Mexico) in Arnett Gardens who received titles to their homes at a handing over ceremony at the Avon Park Community Centre on Thursday(Nov. 6). Mrs. Tomlinson told JIS News that she was feeling “fine” because after living in her home for the past 25 years she has finally owned it.
Her niece, Pauline Brown who lives with her said, “we are very proud today to be the owner of this house. I just thank God for this day . you know in every thing you just have to give God thanks and pray because nothing is done before the time”.
Mrs. Tomlinson and the other recipients were able to own their homes through the Ministry of Water and Housing divestment programme.
Water and Housing Minister, Donald Buchanan who presented the titles to the homeowners said that the Ministry had embarked on a programme of divesting the units in these schemes to their occupants, thereby providing the purchasers with security of tenure.
Mexico is the first of seven schemes that are targeted for divestment. The others are Duhaney Park, Majesty Gardens, Tavares Gardens, Four A (Brooklyn) and Four B (Texas) and the high rise buildings, known as Pegasus. The recipients paid $30,000 for the units.
“I want to challenge the citizens of Mexico to make your community one that others will seek to emulate. Make your community one where caring for the aged is put on the front burner, one where caring for your children is of prime concern and receives priority attention, one where you ensure the maintenance of beauty within your community.”
Turning to illegal connections of utilities, Minister Buchanan said, “with respect to every single person in Jamaica who is illegally connected to the utilities, this must be brought to an end.”
The Minister said that all new occupants would be provided with letters addressed to the National Water Commission (NWC) and the Jamaica Public Service Company (JPSCo.) to be legally connected.
Meanwhile, Member of Parliament for South St. Andrew, Dr. Omar Davies said that the divestment of the units was the first step in formalization.
“For me more important than the block and steel is what we are attempting to do in terms of social engineering, what we have attempted in raising educational levels . things we have done in terms of encouraging us not to see ourselves as second class citizens capturing houses in a ghetto but as proud citizens from a pre-eminent constituency in this country and this is a very important step in that process of formalization,” he said.

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