Minister Urging Tenants To Acquire Rights To Land

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Minister of Housing, Michael Lashley, makes a point to Member of Parliament for St. John, Mara Thompson, during the town hall meeting. At right is Minister of State in the Ministry of Housing, Patrick Todd. (C. Pitt/BGIS)

Government is taking steps to ensure that residents of Bath Hill Tenantry in St. John acquire the rights to the land on which they currently reside.

This was outlined by Housing Minister, Michael Lashley, as he addressed those gathered yesterday evening for a town hall meeting at the United Holy Church of America, Bath Hill, St. John to discuss the way forward to becoming a property owner.

He told residents that his Ministry had recently submitted a paper to the Infrastructural Committee of Cabinet for amendments to the Tenantries Freehold Purchase Act, Cap 239B "to make it easier for land tenants to secure title to the Lot they occupy."?? Mr. Lashley also stated that "reciprocal action would be taken by those residents who would benefit from the programme."

Explaining that Bath Tenantry at approximately 400 acres was perhaps one of the largest Government owned tenantries, not just in the parish of S.John, but across the island, the Minister disclosed that from February 2009, there were some 115 structures and five agricultural holdings on the property.

"Undoubtedly, due to its esteemed location and breathtaking views, Bath Tenantry, St. John is a desirable place to live.?? Furthermore, since it is included in the First Schedule of the Tenantries Freehold Purchase Act; qualified tenants are eligible to purchase their lots at the statutory price of $1.00 per square metre or 10 cents per square foot.?? Added to these benefits is the fact that it is owned by the Crown, therefore pensioners are entitled to obtain their conveyance free of cost," the Land Minister explained.

Mr. Lashley further added that his Ministry was looking to make available further infrastructural development of the area in order to provide additional lots.

"Therefore, the message to be embraced by current and future residents of Bath Tenantry, St. John is: contact the Ministry to relate your queries and concerns and obtain advice and guidance on charting a way forward to becoming a property owner in this beautiful community," he underscored.

tblackman@barbados.gov.bb

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