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Government to regularise informal settlements in Clarendon Central

Saturday, September 16, 2017

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GOVERNMENT is taking steps to acquire lands in sections of Clarendon Central with a view to regularising informal community settlements.

On a tour of the communities of Bucks Common, Effortville and Juno Crescent on Thursday, Minister without Portfolio in the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation Dr Horace Chang said upgrading the settlements is important and is being given priority by the Government.

“There are a number of informal settlements that affect May Pen, like several urban cities in Jamaica. [Upgrading the communities] will create appropriate living environments and provide ownership [of lands for the residents],” he told JIS News.

“Ownership means we introduce a programme to upgrade the infrastructure, provide services, and we expect those occupying properties to pay for the titles,” he added.

Dr Chang noted that this format has been undertaken in a number of communities, but will be done more extensively across Jamaica.

“Once we can get a cohesive approach, especially done by the Jamaica Social Investment Fund, we will see significant improvements in the area,” he said.

Member of Parliament for Central Clarendon Mike Henry, meanwhile, noted that the ownership of land is necessary for the reduction of poverty.

Henry, the transport and mining minister, is expecting residents of the communities to pay for titles for the land, once the Government acquisition process is complete.

He expressed gratitude to Dr Chang for the attention given to addressing some of the social ills affecting some communities in Central Clarendon.

The Jamaica Social Investment Fund is expected to facilitate infrastructure development by building roads, water and sewer systems.

Guidance counsellor of the Effortville Primary School, Christine Russell-Lewin, said she welcomes plans by the Government to regularise informal settlements, as well as help in the acquisition of land titles, noting that residents will gain a sense of independence with such a move.

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