85 Arnett Gardens residents receive land titles
EIGHTY-FIVE residents of Arnett Gardens in South St Andrew were last Thursday presented with titles to lands they occupy, becoming the latest beneficiaries of Government's land titling project.
Speaking at the handing-over ceremony, held in the South St Andrew community, Member of Parliament Dr Omar Davies, who is also the Minister of Transport, Works and Housing, described the occasion as "transformational" for the residents.
Dr Davies said all the new land owners have a responsibility to ensure that the community has organisational structures that can chart development, and to preserve the value of their property, as he encouraged residents not to engage in anti-social activities, including taking electricity illegally.
"Your lives are going to be transformed, and you will no longer be termed informal settlers. You are people with houses, with legal documentation, and the extent to which you allow the area to run down, the value of your property will go down," he said.
The area saw an overhaul in its housing development in 1972, and lasted up to the end of that decade, where more than 1,200 housing units were constructed. It consisted of two and three bedroom semi-detached units, townhouses, and high-rise apartments, which had replaced wooden shacks and zinc fences. A number of the homeowners, however, allowed their property to run down, thus decreasing their values.
Minister without portfolio with responsibility for housing, Dr Morais Guy, meanwhile, encouraged residents to form a citizens association in the community, adding that his ministry was willing to get its social workers to help them to form the association. "I want you to commit and make a promise that you are going to make your community one that others look at and admire," Dr Guy urged.