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Govt moves to regularise squatter settlements

Friday, June 06, 2014 | 4:16 PM    

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KINGSTON, Jamaica -- Government is to acquire several properties across the island in what it says is a move to regularise the land occupation of 330 residents of informal settlements.

Minister with responsibility for Housing, Dr Morais Guy during his contribution to the 2014/15 Sectoral Debate in Parliament on Wednesday, June 4, said that the areas targeted for this intervention include 81 St Johns Road in St Catherine; 12 Whitehall Avenue, St Andrew; 10 acres at Cloisters in St Ann’s Bay, St Ann; 10 acres at Darlington Drive in Old Harbour, St Catherine; and 30 acres at Orange Valley in Salt Marsh, Trelawny.

The properties are to be acquired under the Local Improvement Community [Amenities] Act (LICA), which makes provision for the declaration of certain defined areas comprising specified lands, as special improvements (infrastructure) areas.

The Act also allows for the compulsory acquisition by the Government of a leasehold interest in such lands, and the carrying out of improvements on such lands in accordance with special improvements (infrastructure) schemes.

Dr Guy said that these are in addition to the compulsory acquisition of two properties in Portmore Lane, St Catherine, that were declared under LICA to facilitate the regularisation of 105 occupants, for which Cabinet has given approval.

 “Cabinet also gave its approval for the acquisition of over 17 acres of LICA-declared land at Paradise Park in Westmoreland to regularise the occupancy of some 60 residents,” Dr Guy said.

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