Informal settlers in Central Kingston to become legal landowners

INFORMAL settlers on lands in Parade Gardens, Rose Gardens and Rae Town in Central Kingston are to get an opportunity to become regularised.

Member of Parliament for Kingston Central Donovan Williams made the announcement during his contribution to the State of the Constituency Debate in the House of Representatives on Tuesday.

He said that through the National Land Agency (NLA), an adjudication services committee has been set up for Central Kingston and is “poised to begin hearing applications for titles”.

The MP said land tenure poses a problem in Central Kingston and impedes the improvement of housing infrastructure in the constituency.

“Many persons live on these properties, some of them for decades without titles… but there is a proper and a legal way to do things,” he said.

Williams noted that the mandate of the adjudication services committee is to assist land owners who have been in open, undisturbed, undisputed possession of their parcels of lands for 12 years or more so that they can claim ownership of such land via the systematic registration of land using the adjudication process.

“This is welcome news for [the targeted] communities. It means we will now be able to help more persons under the new social housing programme which requires land tenure as a condition precedent for approval,” he said.

“We have already submitted applications and are assisting many others in putting together their relevant documentation for submission,” he added.

In his maiden presentation last year in the State of the Constituency Debate, Williams had reported that Tel-Aviv, Southside and Rose Gardens were selected to be part of a land administration management programme under the Cadastral Mapping and Tenure Clarification (Special Provisions) Act, which would facilitate the issuing of new titles and the upgrading of existing certificates of title.

Meanwhile, in a release Wednesday, the NLA announced that it has distributed a total of 6,256 certificates of title under its Systematic Land Registration Programme since the agency launched its distribution activities in February 2022.

It said the programme commenced adjudicating rights in January 2021 and has completed work in parts of St Elizabeth, St Catherine, and Manchester.

— Alecia Smith

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