Minister without Portfolio in the Ministry of Housing Dr. Morais Guy, told the House of Representatives on Tuesday that just over three thousand of these lots will be developed in the first phase.
The programme has been approved by Cabinet, he said, "and infrastructure works are projected to be completed by June 2017."
Several government agencies and the charity Food for the Poor will collaborate to construct the houses, he explained.
The Government has also revved up its land ownership programme, which is set to deliver some 676 parcels during the current financial year, surpassing the 102 lots that were approved for sale last year.
Additionally, the Government provided security of tenure to 500 residents in Effortville, Clarendon; Canterbury, St. James; Cousins Cove, Hanover, and communities in St. Andrew, at a cost of $26 million.
This was disclosed by Minister with responsibility for Housing, in the Ministry of Transport, Works and Housing, Hon. Dr. Morais Guy, while making his contribution to the 2015/16 Sectoral Debate in the House of Representatives, on April 28.
“As part of the Ministry’s thrust to address informal settlements, approximately $37 million has been set aside to facilitate the acquisition and regularisation of properties,” the Minister said, noting that the issue is of much importance to the administration.
He told the House that in order to foster an “ownership society,” Cabinet gave approval for the creation of the National Land Titling Programme, “which brings together the relevant Ministries, Departments and agencies for which land titling activities form part of their portfolio responsibilities.”
Under the programme, the Minister said, the Housing Agency of Jamaica (HAJ) has transformed 50 Operation PRIDE communities across the island, by delivering some 1,000 titles to beneficiaries, “making them proud land owners.”
The Minister pointed out that the land titling programme will be delivering 15,000 titles annually. Communities that have benefited from the land titling programme are: Bedward Gardens, St. Benedict’s and Callaloo Mews, in St. Andrew; Beverly Flats, Gravel Heights and Spanish Villa, St. Catherine; Boscobel, St. Mary; Mammee Bay and Shaw Park Heights, St. Ann; Donaldson, St. Thomas; Norwood, Retirement, Pitfour, Barrett Hall, Flankers, Meadowsvale and Lilliput, St. James; and communities in Hanover, Westmoreland and St. Elizabeth.
“Of the over 1,000 titles issued, approximately 90 per cent were collected personally by individuals who walked off the streets into the offices of the HAJ, eager to become a part of the ownership society,” he said, while acknowledging the role played by civil society and the Social Development Commission (SDC), in the land titling process.
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