The Honourable Robert Montague, Minister with responsibility for Local Government recently announced a partnership between the Land Administration and Management Programme (LAMP II). The partnership is aimed at making land titling even more accessible.
Recognizing that even with the reduced rates being offered some land owners were still finding it difficult to raise the fees necessary to access the services provided under LAMP II, the government sought to secure alternate sources of funding for land owners by inviting financial institutions to partner with the programme. Seven (7) institutions responded and have come on board to offer special lending facilities to landowners wishing to participate in the programme.
In making the announcement during a media launch which took place at the Department’s 85, Hagley Park Road, office on November 4, 2010, Minister Montague, who chairs LAMP, lauded the seven (7) participating institutions for their patriotism.
“.. I really want to pass on the congratulations and commendations of the Government. I must say that these seven institutions have proven that they are not only responsive and responsible, but that they are 100 per cent Jamaican and committed to the national goals,” Mr. Montague said.
He said that what the financial institutions have done in coming forward is to package a product unique to themselves that speaks to a specific segment of the market that is out there.
LAMP’s Project Director, Gloria Brown, also welcomed the collaboration, which she said, is expected to “accelerate the titling programme.” She added that with over 40 per cent of the total parcels of land being unregistered, there needed to be a radical shift in the approach to registration. “LAMP, in its effort to complete the processing of over 15,000 titles, gladly welcomes its new partners,” she added.
He assured that once a client qualifies for assistance they will not be turned away. “So whether the amount (required) is $100 million or $1 million, our financial institutions are committed to carrying the client through the process,” Mr. Montague said.
Work under LAMP II, which was launched earlier this year, is expected to be completed within three years. The programme was piloted in St. Catherine in 2000, and was expanded to incorporate Clarendon, Manchester, St. Elizabeth, and St. Thomas, with St. Mary, St. Ann and Portland added recently.
Mrs. Brown noted that the programme has been successful in providing persons with registered titles for their land and has an 88 per cent success in registration, compared to a 20 to 40 per cent success at the private bar. She credited the high level of success to the passing of the Special Provisions Act, which addresses the major problem of subdivisions, cost and route of title. Under the Act, all applications for first registration are based on tax roll value, so all the cost will relate to the value of the property on the tax roll.
Under this partnership, the institutions will provide loans to landholders in St. Elizabeth, Clarendon and parts of Manchester, to fund the attendant costs to register their properties.
Institutions participating are: National Housing Trust (NHT), National Commercial Bank (NCB), Jamaica National Building Society (JNBS), First Caribbean International Bank, Capital and Credit Merchant Bank, People’s Cooperative Bank, and St. Elizabeth Cooperative Credit Union.
An expo of products being offered by these Institutions will be staged at the Santa Cruz Transportation Centre from 10:00 am to 4:00 p.m. on Friday November 19, 2010.