JIS News

The Ministry of Water and Housing in its bid to support and facilitate the Inner City Housing programme being spearheaded by the National Housing Trust (NHT) has to date contributed 105 lots in Denham Town and one parcel of land comprising 13.5 acres in Trench Town.
This is according to Donald Buchanan, Minister of Water and Housing, during his contribution to the 2005/06 Sectoral Debate in Gordon House on June 15. He noted that the properties have been declared under the Housing Act in order to speed up the process and to reduce cost to the beneficiaries.
He said that a number of approaches were being taken to provide housing for needy Jamaicans, including improving security of tenure; community participation; joint venture partnerships; mortgage provision; providing social housing and improved legislative framework.
Regarding security of tenure, Minister Buchanan said the Ministry has a significant number of housing schemes, which were developed for rental and as cooperatives and condominiums. These schemes, he said, comprise 4,633 units and have been occupied by families for extended periods, in some instances in excess of 40 years.
“The Ministry is now in the process of divesting these units in order to provide security of tenure for the residents and to foster the creation of stable communities through pride ownership,” the Minister said, adding that during the divestment process, occupants are trained and assisted to establish Strata Corporations to manage the properties.
So far, some 1,201 units have been divested with projections that another 1,400 units will be sold this financial year. “We have had success in the divestment of units in Arnett Gardens Phase 7, Duhaney Park and McIntyre Lands,” the Minister said.The Ministry’s officers, he noted, were working in Tivoli Gardens and Tavares Gardens, executing sale agreements for some 700 families.
Turning to the issue of titles, the Minister said, “notwithstanding the challenges we are facing with respect to our titling programme, during the past financial year, 1,201 splinter titles were received from the Titles Office in respect of 52 schemes and 332 certificate of titles were delivered to persons who completed payments.” He said further, that applications were also made to the Titles Office for the splintering of titles relating to 12 schemes.
The Ministry, through the Joint Venture Programme, he further informed, is also in the process of acquiring and upgrading brownfield sites. Discussions, he said, were underway for the installation of infrastructure and the provision of security of tenure for approximately 1,000 families on two sites, Buckshaven in Clarendon and Frazer’s Content in St. Catherine.
The Water and Housing Ministry in providing security of tenure in these areas has approved the acquisition of 29 properties by private treaty or by compulsory acquisition under the Land Acquisition Act of 1947. “The acquisition of these properties will enable the Ministry to provide security of tenure for over 2,100 families,” Minister Buchanan said.

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