31 Kokerital Hill, Region One residents receive land titles
After years of waiting, some 31 persons who were allocated lands in Kokerital Hill, Mabaruma sub-district, Region One (Barima-Waini) finally received their certificates of title on Saturday.
The land ownership documents were handed over during an outreach led by Housing and Water Minister, Collin Croal at the Mabaruma Learning and Resource Centre. Regional Chairman, Brentnol Ashley and Regional Executive Officer (REO) Tikaram Bisesar were also in attendance.
Beneficiary Sharon Santiago was elated to receive her land title document after waiting for over 22 years.
She told the Department of Public Information that the next step will be to apply for the government’s cement and steel support programme to commence constructing her home.
“I am looking forward to some help and I’m glad that they [the government] launched the cement and steel subsidy that will help so it can complete my house” she stated.
Cynthia Leung is also hoping to capitalise on the homebuilders’ support programme to commence the construction of her home after receiving her land title document.
“After 20 years I get my land title I am extremely happy… I think the administration is doing a good job so far,” she said.
Allocations at Kokerital began in 2000, with some 113 persons. However, the processing of titles was affected due to land ownership issues and the area recorded a low occupancy rate.
In April 2021, Minister Croal committed that the Central Housing and Planning Authority (CHPA) would work with the Guyana Lands and Surveys Commission on the legal framework to rectify the issue.
While 20 of the 31 individuals issued titles today are first-time recipients, 11 persons were re-issued following rectification. Additionally, 21 persons were also able to register for their titles.
“Today’s exercise is intended to bring happiness, joy and satisfaction to some persons so that they can move onwards to utilise whether it’s a mortgage or for special interest,” Minister Croal said during his address to the residents.
He noted that the ministry is seeking to acquire additional lands to address the backlog of over 170 pending applications for Region One within the CHPA database. A regional housing officer will also be appointed next year to address housing matters within the region.
As it relates to the steel and cement support programme for homebuilders, Minister Croal used the opportunity to clarify that only those persons with a land title or transport document are eligible to benefit. He said those with lease lands and lands owned by an Amerindian Village Council are not qualified to access the programme.
“Lands that are under the purview of GLSC [ Guyana Lands and Survey Commission] cannot qualify for this programme because leases, by definition, are for a particular period. When you’re on a land by a certificate of title it signals permanency, it signals lifetime and no one can come back and trouble your land,” he said.
Over the past two years, the PPP/C Administration has accelerated its national housing programme moving beyond the coast and including hinterland Regions One, Seven, Eight and Nine. Minister Croal said the aim is to ensure all Guyanese have access to the affordable housing opportunities being offered by the state.
In his remarks, the regional chairman said the government continues to place emphasis on the development of Guyana and Region One is no exception.
He pointed out that the RDC continues to collaborate with the various ministries and agencies to ensure quality services are delivered to the people particularly in the education, health, housing and water, and agriculture sectors.
Technical officers were also on the ground to address other housing related matters including processing new applications for houselots and the cement and steel programme.