The 500 St. Michael home owners with liens placed on their properties by the Urban Development Commission (UDC) will have them lifted and ownership transferred back to them on Emancipation Day, August 1.
Prime Minister Mia Amor Mottley made this announcement today, while speaking at a celebratory event held in Golden Square, The City, to mark the Day of National Significance.
Ms. Mottley stated: “I have come today on the Day of National Significance to make wrong things right in this country, and to say to a group of people who…have been unfaired that no government that I lead…will participate in the grabbing or stealing of property of people who we have gone to when they were at their most vulnerable and simply offered to assist.”
According to the Prime Minister: “Over the course of the last few years, people who accepted the assistance of the State in good faith to be able to repair their houses because they were not in a position to do it themselves were then told by the last government that after 10 years you will no longer get back your house without any lien or claim on it, but that it belongs to the State.”
She said it was wrong that a government would seek to take property, which should be part of people’s legacy to their children and grandchildren.
Therefore, she declared, once the period of time had passed, Government’s decision was that the lien, which the UDC had placed on the properties, would be extinguished and the properties would revert “fully and completely” to the original owners.
Ms. Mottley promised that the details of the programme would be released in the next few days with letters expected to be sent to more than 500 people deemed to be “potentially at risk”.
“Therefore, as of August 1, symbolically and literally, those properties that the UDC has wrongfully claimed will be returned to those families across St. Michael who have been unfaired,” the Prime Minister said.