SELECTING APPLICANTS: Minister of Land and Marine Resources Jairam Seemungal draws the number of a housing applicant during the random selection of applicants in the “Land for the Landless” residential lots programme at the Southern Academy for Performing Arts in San Fernando yesterday. —Photo: DEXTER PHILLIP

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Land for 500 more

 ANOTHER 500 landless people were chosen yesterday, becoming eligible to own residential lots if they meet the criteria of the Government’s Land for the Landless programme.

The applicants turned up at the Southern Academy for the Performing Arts in San Fernando for a “random selection of applicant” exercise.

Public Administration Minister Carolyn Seepersad-Bachan and Minister of Land and Marine Resources Jairam Seemungal attended the function.

Seepersad-Bachan urged applicants to use the land wisely, and that most of the complaints she heard from constituents were about housing.

She said: “The programme will help you to help yourselves.”

Successful applicant Natalie Taylor said she had waited for more than a year and was excited at the prospect of owning land.

Another applicant, Mindy Rampersad, said her family was happy since they were living on State land and they were concerned the home would be demolished.

Those who were not selected were told that more opportunities will arise in the future.

Nanda Radhay, who travelled from Waterloo, said she did not expect such a large crowd and was disappointed she was not among the first group picked.

Seemungal said the land was worth between $90,000 and $200,000 which was reduced from as much as $600,000.

He said 48,000 applications were received in 2012, exceeding the goal of the programme’s proposed total allocation of 10,000 in the first phase. The lots will be offered to eligible families as a State land lease for 199 years. 

Families with an income of $3,000 or less will also be provided with up to $30,000 to help with construction of a concrete foundation for a home.

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