SHADOW MINISTER for Lands, Environment and Climate Change Senator Sophia Frazer Binns has chastised the Holness administration for its handling of the Clifton land case and called for a change in the national approach to the allocation of land and housing, which would remove barriers. to the acquisition of a property.
The barrister, who was one of five presenters at the People’s National Party (PNP) ‘Time Come to Put People First’ inaugural public meeting at Bridgeport High School in Portmore, St Catherine on Sunday, said argue that there should have been a consultation prior to the October 6 demolitions.
“We believe consultation is important. We don’t believe that someone really pays their money, or really does what the law says they have to do to own land and then in the end you find out there’s a mistake. We don’t think the right thing to do is to bulldoze people! she says.
“We believe that as a caring and progressive party, the right thing to do is to consult. We think the right thing to do is to meet people and have a conversation to see how we can help them right this wrong and not victimize people who are already victimized,” said Frazer Binns.
During his presentation to the House of Representatives on October 5, Prime Minister Andrew Holness, who announced the impending demolition, said land near Clifton, Portmore, St Catherine, had been captured by a criminal gang who were fraudulently reselling plots.
These lands are also part of the government’s Greater Bernard Lodge development plan. Affected residents said they paid large sums of money for the lots, with one woman claiming to have paid $800,000 for her lot.
Frazer Binns said an overhaul of the land ownership and housing process was needed to fix the problem.
“For us in the People’s National Party, land and land ownership, your home, is not a luxury. It’s not a privilege, but we consider it a right that every Jamaican who wants to own a piece of this rock called Jamrock can do so,” she explained.
She said the PNP is aware that the current systems in place are inefficient and the cost to obtain a credential “is too high”, with most Jamaicans not even being able to pay for a survey chart.
The opposition senator said the PNP, under the leadership of Mark Golding, aims to ease the process of home ownership, break down legislative barriers and change laws that will make home ownership easier land.
Frazer Binns also chastised the government for using “the best farmland” for housing.
“We believe that agricultural land should be used for agriculture, because we have to ensure that we feed our people. As we know, … Portmore has some of the best arable land, and we’re going to put that land in the hands of the people so that anyone who wants to farm to help the country’s food security has that opportunity,” Frazer told Binns.