During a town hall meeting at Mangrove Cay, Andros Prime Minister the Hon. Dr. Hubert Minnis announced plans to give properties to Family Islanders who have been leasing Crown land from the government.
He said “Most important in the Family Islands, one of the things we find, a lot of people would have built on government Crown Land, they would have leased land and been promised they will get the land, and still nothing happened.”
He noted that the public would have heard “me talking about establishing [a] land audit, and there was a reason we want to do the land audit because we find that two [or] three people were given the same land, so we’re trying to bring organization.”
“But the audit is moving a bit slowly while individuals would have been promised, they built, etc. And I know Nassau [is] listening, so Nassau listen very carefully.
“What we’re going to do, a lot of people in the Family Islands would have had homes… built businesses and they are leasing.
“Over the next few weeks we want you to call in so that we know who you are, and we are prepared to grant you that land, give you the land free title so that you can take that land, go to the bank, you own it. You can borrow money, expand your business, because the government [is] no longer leasing the land; it’s your land…”
The prime minister indicated that the government’s plan for these land grants will extend to other family islands, as well as persons who have been living on land initially purposed for the Bahamas Agricultural Research and Training Development (BARTAD) project.
This announcement comes almost a year after the Minister of State for Legal Affairs, Elsworth Johnson revealed the intention to deal with land issues in The Bahamas.
The stated goal at the time was to lead to every piece, parcel, lot or tract of Land being easily identifiable by having a marker containing its assigned ‘folio number’ and all claims or land charges would be duly noted in the folio related to the specific land, which will be easily identifiable in a Land Registry.
It was added that the Government is hopeful that the successful and urgent implementation of a National System of Land Registration will immediately begin the process of resolving all unresolved land title issues and claims throughout The Bahamas; and thereby modernize and simplify all land related issues.