Eighty eligible squatters received Certificates of Comfort (CoCs), at a recently held distribution ceremony hosted by the Land Settlement Agency (LSA), an agency of the Ministry of Housing and Urban Development.
The ceremony was held at the Diego Martin Central Community Centre, Wendy Fitzwilliam Boulevard, Diego Martin.
A Certificate of Comfort issued by the Land Settlement Agency, is the first stage in the regularization of tenure process.
Only squatters who were occupying state land prior to January 1, 1998 could have made an application for a COC on or before October 27, 2000.
In delivering the feature address, Haimdath Ramoutar, Deputy Permanent Secretary (DPS), Ministry of Housing and Urban Development told recipients, “The Ministry appreciates how important shelter is to everyone. We understand what a comfortable home can do for a family’s sense of well-being and security. The Ministry has always been and will continue to create opportunities for deserving families, primarily the low and the lower-middle-income earners.”
He added, “We want everyone to lead decent, dignified and rewarding lives and we will continue to do our part to ensure that shelter remains a vital part of that equation”.
Also, giving remarks was the Chairman of the Land Settlement Agency, Ossley Francis. He urged the recipients not to remove the pickets planted by the Land Surveying Unit, as this results in the process starting all over again.
He advised the recipients to cooperate with the LSA to make the process smooth and timely.
Chief Executive Officer of the Land Settlement Agency, Hazar Hosein told the recipients, “Cooperate and work with the LSA to make whatever adjustments are necessary.”
He told them, “We would like to move you to the next stage of the process, which are the Statutory Leases, so cooperate with us and let’s move forward.”
Following the distribution of the CoCs, the next stage (stage 2) of the regularization of tenure process is the issuance of a Statutory Lease which gives the holder a maximum of thirty (30) years to pay for the land.
At stage three (3), Statutory Leases recipients who pay the full price of the land (25% its market value) will be eligible for Deeds of Leases for a period of One Hundred and Ninety-Nine (199) years.
In closing DPS Ramoutar, reiterated the Ministry’s commitment “to improving the living conditions of all citizens in and inclusive and environmentally sensitive manner.”