Minister of Housing and Lands, Michael Lashley, as he addressed residents of Garden Land, St. Michael, at a town hall meeting on Saturday.?? At right is Assistant Architect of Design Collaborative, Corey Evelyn.??(C. Pitt/BGIS)??

Government has recognised that the complexity of the process by which ownership of real estate is proven, better known as land titling, needs to be simplified.

This was the assertion of Minister of Housing and Lands, Michael Lashley, as he addressed residents of Garden Land, St. Michael, during a town hall meeting to discuss the start of the Housing and Neighbourhood Upgrading Programme in their area. The meeting was held last Saturday at the National Housing Corporation, Country Road.??

In response to a resident who was renting land and who wanted to benefit from the construction of water-borne toilet facilities, Mr. Lashley pointed out that written permission was needed from the landlord for a tenant to improve a house on rented land.?? Ownership of land and permission, he stated, was an issue that affected many persons and could affect Government’s programmes.??

The Housing and Lands Minister explained:?? "A tenant can only give consent to improve a house, if the owner, or an agent of the landlord, gives permission through a letter of affidavit to do the toilet add-ons [or other improvements].?? And this brings me to a further concern…?? The owner might not be in possession of the title deeds to the land and this would necessitate a foreclosure suit which sometimes takes three to six, to sometimes, 10 years.

"So, we are looking at legislation to simplify titling land so that people in Barbados who have been living on land for years but who do not have title deeds can apply through the Courts and have that process done in a faster way."??

The meeting was convened to discuss the implementation of the neighbourhood upgrading programme which will focus on infrastructural development in drainage, sewerage, street lighting and water distribution, as well as reducing the risk of fires and the minimisation of flooding.??

Meanwhile, there will be a town hall meeting for residents of Allen View, St. Thomas, this Saturday, May 15, at the Natural Heritage Department, #1 Sturges, St. Thomas, at 4.00 p.m. Residents are urged to attend.

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