After two decades, Bare Root residents get land titles

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After more than twenty years of waiting, the first eight-four (84) families of Former Parcel 914, Bachelor’s Adventure (Bare Root), East Coast Demerara are now in possession of the legal documentation for their lands.

The Certificates of Title were handed over by the Minister within the Ministry of Housing and Water, Susan Rodrigues at a community engagement on Friday, in keeping with a promise made to the residents in October 2022.

Minister Rodrigues was accompanied by a team from the Central Housing and Planning Authority (CHPA), including the Director of Community Development, Mr. Gladwin Charles; the Head of the Conveyance Unit, Ms Esther Stephens; and the Head of CHPA’s Legal Secretariat, Ms Hannifah Jordan.

She stated that the ownership documents will bring empowerment to the beneficiaries, as it provides a sense of protection and can also be used at financial institutions to help persons enhance their homes or even launch a small business.

“We want to ensure that we uplift all the citizens in our country and […] that all the services we deliver to you, touch your lives in a real way,” said the Minister.

A resident of Bare Root (right) selects their house lot from an envelope held by a CHPA official during the exercise (Photo: Ministry of Housing and Water)

She further noted that although some of the families were unable to pay the transaction fees, the Ministry took an extra step to still process the documents, so that each person can close that chapter of their lives. As such, they were given the opportunity to make the necessary payments and receive the document at the event or at the Ministry’s Headquarters.

“By processing your Title, even without the full payment we are saying that we are committed to you, we want to ensure that you can obtain your ownership documents and we will work with you,” the Minister assured residents.

The area, which was regularised, is divided into 312 lots. A survey was completed by the Guyana Lands and Surveys Commission (GLSC) in 2004, however, due to omissions of parcel numbers, bearings and incorrect acreages, resurveys were done in 2009 and 2017. In June 2022, a final survey was completed to rectify discrepancies and former Parcel 914 was verified by CHPA. Although some lot numbers remain the same, the acreage and lot numbers of others have changed.

Minister Rodrigues has further committed to delivering the remaining land ownership documents. She, therefore, urged the cooperation of residents to make the process a success.

Several of the Land Title beneficiaries including Mrs. Jewel Europe, were overwhelmed with joy as they received the document.

“We’ve been waiting for over fifteen years … we have children and they too will be overjoyed. I am happy for what has been done after so many years because we know having the Title we can do so many things that can make our lives better,” Mrs. Europe said.

Meanwhile, Ms. Particia Seaforth, who has been waiting approximately thirteen years remarked, “this means a lot to me, I am happy that I received my Title today”.

During the event, a mother of four, Ms. Olivia McAllister, who attended the meeting in October to raise her housing concern, returned with a testimonial. She applied for a house lot more than eight years ago but was unable to receive an allocation. Through Minister Rodrigues’ intervention, she received a house lot in November that will transform the lives of her children.

“The area that I live in is not somewhere I want my kids to grow up in, especially [because] I have three boys and it’s not where I want. And the fact that I have been given a land that I can build a home and give them somewhere to grow in an area that is very much comfortable for them really pleases and warms my heart,” Ms. McAllister explained.

Additionally, the Ministry of Housing and Water, through CHPA allocated a number of house lots to residents of Bare Root with outstanding applications at Friday’s event. This is also in keeping with a commitment made by the Minister during her previous visit.

Several interventions are also in-line for Bachelors’ Adventure such as $407 million in road rehabilitation, and the construction of a $US 7.8 million ($GY 1.5 billion) water treatment plant that will serve communities from Coldingen to Nabaclis, East Coast Demerara.

“We want wholesome communities and that is why the Ministry of Housing, the Government of Guyana, and the President of Guyana are committed to building these communities and building a One Guyana, where our people can be happy,” said Minister Rodrigues. (CH&PA press release)

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