Over 200 Jamaicans collected land titles today (Tuesday, August 23) at a Land Titling Ceremony held at Jamaica House through the Land Administration and Management Programme (LAMP).

Prime Minister Andrew Holness who was keynote speaker at the event, said this is an important initiative aimed at empowering Jamaicans with a renewed sense of ownership and pride in Jamaica. “We want every Jamaican to have a vested interest in building Jamaica. In order to build a strong economy and improve quality of lives, we must give our citizens security of ownership wherever possible.”

The LAMP initiative which is supported by grant funding from the Development Bank of Jamaica Limited (DBJ), aims to deliver 1,200 titles for the 2016/2017 financial year.

Prime Minister Holness stated that studies have shown that equity in land ownership has a direct impact on the overall prosperity of a nation, adding “Your title is an asset that can be used to secure your future and that of your children. It provides a foundation on which to build dreams and goals of a better, more prosperous life.”

He noted that LAMP recognizes there are many issues with subdivisions and cultural practice on how Jamaicans pass on land and has assisted persons in coming into the realm of ownership. He highlighted that one of the ways the Programme has assisted persons is through the Adjudication Committee.

In order to strengthen the work of the Adjudication Committees, a Draft Bill amending the Registration of Titles Cadastral Mapping and Tenure Clarification (Special Provisions) Act, is being finalized.  The amended Bill is aimed at making the law more culturally relevant so that recognition is given to the manner in which many land owners, give, buy and sell land.  In addition, LAMP will continue its mandate to conduct cadastral mapping, tenure clarification and regularization in project areas and subsequently reduce the number of unregistered parcels of land, thereby bringing them into the formal sector.

The Prime Minister said the government is committed to building on the initiatives undertaken over the years to ensure that more Jamaicans have the ability to own land and possess documentary proof of that ownership in the form of titles. He encouraged the beneficiaries to use the titles to enrich their lives and that of their children while urging them to “…use the property that you now have title for productively to add value to your well-being.”

Lamp right a

Lamp right b cropped