Tue | Dec 11, 2018

Land rush - PM promises 20,000 titles over next three years

Published:Wednesday | March 21, 2018 | 12:00 AMEdmond Campbell/Senior Staff Reporter
Prime Minister Andrew Holness.

Charging that the People's National Party (PNP) has been tinkering with land titling for years, Prime Minister Andrew Holness said his administration was far down the track in putting in place plans to register thousands of acres of land.

In his contribution to the Budget Debate in Parliament yesterday, the prime minister said the Government is moving to register and provide titles for 20,000 parcels of land in the next three years and this initiative would be partly funded by the National Housing Trust (NHT) in the sum of $2 billion.

"The funding from the NHT will help to create a system of credit where you can go and borrow the money to get your title and the funding is there."

Holness told his parliamentary colleagues that in January 2017, before the leader of the Opposition took office, Cabinet had considered and given approval for the merger of the Land Administration and Management Programme (LAMP) and the National Land Agency (NLA) to create a public body that is tasked and resourced to see to the titling of all parcels of land in Jamaica.

Holness disclosed that in 2002, the Inter-American Development Bank had recommended that the then government should merge the two agencies. "We are not saying that this is our bright idea; what I am saying is that we are the ones that are implementing it."

While many studies have been done on land ownership and titling, Holness stressed that the Government was now taking action. "The road map has been prepared. The merger of LAMP into the NLA to create this new titling agency and this legal machinery will start officially April 1, 2018."