Land titles representing ownership of land, were presented to some 26 residents of the St. Benedicts Heights Housing Scheme at a handing-over ceremony on Wednesday June 27, 2012 at the St. Benedicts Primary School.
Speaking at the handing-over ceremony, Minister without portfolio in charge of Housing, Hon. MoraisGuy said that the acquisition of titles was a vehicle to economic development and commended the title holders for the move they made from having certificates of possession to having their titles. He noted that the persons receiving titles were hitherto informal settlers and now that there status had changed, he said he viewed it as ‘an investment in growth and development’
The Minister said that he recognized that the title owners did not have desirable infrastructure existing in the community yet, but said that that would be done, ‘one step at a time’. He asked persons to be responsible for the incremental improvement of their communities.
In commenting on the status of home ownership in Jamaica, Minister Guy highlighted the fact that the Ministry is trying to make home ownership attractive and by this means, empowering Jamaicans.
Also speaking at the function were Ms. Maureen Webber, Chairman of the Housing Agency of Jamaica and MP for the area, Hon. Damion Crawford. In delivering greetings to the gathering, Ms. Webber stressed that the pride of owning one’s own house is a most important milestone. She said that she was ‘celebrating with all present in owning a piece of Jamaica’
For his part, MP Damion Crawford said he was pleased ‘to be handing out a statement of ownership of a piece of Jamaica’ to the residents. He said that now, the recipients could use their titles to access things such as loans, health care and businesses. He said he was pleased to see constituents moving closer to being a ‘legitimate member of Jamaica’.
The residents were very ecstatic at receiving their titles; one, Ms. Vera Laidlaw exulted, “YES!”, ‘Thank you God!”
Another handing over title ceremony took place in Wentworth, St. Mary on July 1, 2012.