80 families get Certificates of Comfort in Diego Martin
Photo: A resident of Diego Martin receives his Certificate of Comfort in a distribution ceremony in October 2018.
The Housing Ministry has distributed 80 Certificates of Comfort to families who have been squatting in Diego Martin, some for as long as 20 years.
According to a statement from the Ministry of Housing and Urban Development, the 80 eligible squatters attended a distribution ceremony hosted by the Land Settlement Agency at the Diego Martin Central Community Centre, Wendy Fitzwilliam Boulevard, Diego Martin.
Haimdath Ramoutar, Deputy Permanent Secretary (DPS), Ministry of Housing and Urban Development said the Ministry understands the basic human right of access to housing.
“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.”
“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," he said.
Chairman of the Land Settlement Agency, Ossley Francis also 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.
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.
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, 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 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.”
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