September 21, 2018

PRESS RELEASE

Individual and Community Resilience through Secure Tenure

Jam Habitat for Humanity International 2014 Ltd. on Wednesday, September 19th at the Knutsford Court Hotel in Kingston, conducted the first in a series of workshops that brought several agencies and organizations, involved in the process of land tenure regularization together, to identify and find strategies for lifting the burden associated with security of tenure and land regularization “COST”.

The workshop offered the opportunity for collective open dialogue, sharing lessons learnt, identifying paths to strengthen partnerships and adding value towards the establishment of a more effective system on land tenure regularization especially for persons living in informal settlements.

Representing the department of Land Policy from within the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation, Janet Hyde, pointed out that while not every informal settlement was equal to a squatter settlement, squatters made up a very significant fraction of informal settlements. It was agreed that addressing the cost for regularization of any informal settlement, would present a daunting outlook for the urban poor or the inner cities.

The workshop focused on the actual financial costs associated with the step by step land tenure regularization including pre-regularization, actual regularization and post regularization costs. It also focused on costs that are not readily quantifiable. Costs such as political, social, psychological and geographical were among some of the other costs considered.

The workshop which was facilitated by Ms. Jullion Stewart, Mrs. Sophia Fraser Binns (Attorneys-at-Law) and Irvin Adonis the project Manager, guided the participating agencies along such themes as rethinking the regularization process, the non-negotiables costs associated with Land Regularization and identifying the partnerships and collaborations that could result in lowering costs to make land regularization more feasible for all communities. In attendance at the workshop was Mari Luisa Zanelli, Land Tenure Specialist for Habitat for Humanity International, Latin America and the Caribbean regional office in Costa Rica.

The GIS manager/Land Tenure specialist, Mrs. Sherece James, on the BRACED project introduced the participants to a new open source technology called the Territorial Information Management System Platform (TIMSP). This platform is a simple, no cost, spatial database software package that could be revolutionary in administering land data and analysis processes. This presentation demonstrated to state, municipal and community actors what it would mean to have access in real time, to advise communities and individuals on the processes they would require to navigate to obtain security of tenure. With the introduction of this tool coupled with the appropriate laws adjusted, adequate revision of the laws and practices, it is the expectation to reduce costs considerably leading to more secure tenure and thus stronger neighborhood resilience.

The Building Resilience and Capacity against Emerging Disaster (BRACED) being implemented by Habitat for Humanity International and funded by USAID-OFDA is focused on communities in Gregory Park and Naggo Head in Portmore St. Catherine. At the end of the project it is hoped that both the Municipality and State agencies would mainstream some if not all on the recommendations to have a fast track for land regularization and thereby ensuring tenure security resulting in greater resilience.

The second workshop will be held in October at which time the work of developing strategies for advancing finding from the first workshop will be continued. If you want to see more outcomes of this workshop log into the site of URBAN Lands Jamaica  https://comunidad.suelourbano.org/en/tag/jamaica-2/

For more information please contact- The Project manager at Jam Habitat for Humanity, shop 26 Portmore Pines Plaza, Portmore St. Catherine. Phone 876-822-1232 or by email info@braced-jamhabitat.org

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