Jamaicans' non-ownership of land preventing FFP from building more houses
BURRELL ROSE... we cannot build a structure on captured land

Food for the Poor (FFP) has been forced to turn down scores of applicants for houses due to frequent land ownership issues that hamper some of their operations.

Presently, FFP says it can easily build up to 60 houses per month, but due to the persisting problem, the organisation has been able to build, on average, 30 houses per month. It is therefore for this reason that its development and marketing manager, Marsha Burrell Rose, is appealing to Jamaicans who own lands in excess to consider leasing or donated portions of them.

“The amount of applications that are coming in, even if we get 200 applications, most of them are incomplete and even though we walk them through the process, we can't do anything unless we follow the right procedures.

''The thing is that there are so many persons on captured land who we can't assist.

“Another thing is that the persons who are fire victims who lose everything, most of them are on captured land and we cannot build a structure on captured land. We have to have the right documents. Even if they are in need, we cannot assist unless somebody gives us the land or they have the land or somebody leases the land to them,” she told the Jamaica Observer last week.

Urging the cooperation from land owners, Burrell Rose made an appeal to persons who have land saying, “We need it to be able to help those who are in need because so many persons need housing and shelter,'' she said.

She further alluded to a situation which implied that if more families had houses, the children would be in a better position to excel instead of perpetuating generations of sufferation.

“When we go out on a daily basis, we see a different Jamaica than what the regular Jamaicans would see. We see a different level of suffering and pain. We see mothers with kids that don't have nothing. We actually moved a mother a few years ago from under a tarpaulin and just because a company donated a house, one of the sons right now is on a full scholarship,” she shared.

She added: “When you look at our social media platforms, persons are saying look how long they have been on the list and waiting and waiting, but their documents not correct. We have an amazing investigation department that walks them through the process, because without the title for the land, we can't do anything”.

Food for the Poor construction service manager and former housing coordinator, Lorenzo Stanton, validated Burrell Rose's concerns. He told the Observer that documents are definitely and issue.

“If it wasn't, we could go up to at least 60 houses per month. Since the start of this year, we have done over 200 houses across the island,” he said.

Food For the Poor says it can easily build up to 60 houses permonth, but due to the persisting problem, the organisation has beenable to build, on average, 30 houses per month.
BY JASON CROSS Staff reporter crossj@jamaicaobserver.com

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