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Belize Needs Land Distribution #539059
11/05/19 06:10 AM
11/05/19 06:10 AM
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 74,838
oregon, spr
Marty Offline OP

Marty  Offline OP
Belizeans now need to demand lots and land distribution with a titled expedited process

By Wellington C. Ramos

Belize is a country with a population of about 400,000 people. It is underpopulated and there is enough land in the 8,867 square miles, to give each Belizean a lot to build a home for his family and himself. Plus, almost every Belizean family own farmland which can be subdivided to give all their members a lot to build a house for themselves.

Yet, there are hundreds of Belizeans at home and abroad, who are yearning to get a piece of lot to build their homes but cannot get a lot to do so. The reasons are; a selfish family member who has the title for the family land and refuse to share it with other family members who are entitled to some of it, a family member who sold the family’s titled land without the written consent and approval of all the family members, a family member who had or have access to a government leased property that was given to their parents and sold the lease, a family member who acquired the lease and purchased the land for his or herself, the failure of government to issue ongoing leases to citizens regularly, the long waiting period for the government of Belize to issue Certificate of Titles to people after they discontinued Fiat Titles, some government employees deliberately replacing the owners of leased properties without granting the current Lease Holder prior notice, no new land designated by the government in the districts for lease distribution and the refusal of Land Department employees to process citizens documents in a timely manner.

Years ago in order for Belizeans to get a lot or a piece of land, the PUP and UDP had a Lots Committee in each district to implement the entire process. Under that system, most people got land when their party was in power. If their party was not in power, their applications never got processed while they were told by the local offices that their applications were sent to Belmopan. That system was hated by most Belizeans and the UDP and PUP promised to come up with a more fair and transparent process which never came to reality.

The UDP and PUP still want the area representative to sign off on the land applications where the lot or land is located but if that representa­tive’s party is not in power his or her signature has no value. Also, if the representative do not like a person or think that he or she did not vote for him or her, they will not get the representative to sign their application. This is what many Belizeans including myself have been experiencing while trying to acquire a piece of lot or land in my country of birth. Almost every Belizean citizen, have experienced one of these issues that I have outlined in this article. This is a lot of pain and suffering that we have been going through in our country for years now.

While we the citizens continue to hope and wait, under Belize refugee program, many Guatemalans and Salvadorans have and continue to come into Belize and get lots and farmlands for their families and themselves. I have nothing against these people but this is not the way that the government of Belize should be treating its native citizens. We the Belizean people, should not allow these abuses to continue under these two major political parties any longer.

I ask that we organize a Belizean Land Rights Rally. All the issues that I outlined, should be brought to the attention of our elected representatives. We should also give them a time frame to address our land concerns. A case in point is; I bought a lot in Dangriga in the 1990’s and have a Fiat. I submitted documents for a Certificate of Title five years ago and I am still waiting for it. How much longer must I wait. There are many other Belizeans like myself, who are going through this same experience. Without our land documents, we cannot do some business transactions. It is now time for all of us to bring our land problems in the forefront of this struggle because we cannot endure this pain and suffering no more.

Re: Belize Needs Land Distribution [Re: Marty] #539066
11/05/19 07:36 AM
11/05/19 07:36 AM
Joined: May 2000
Posts: 6,979
San Pedro Town, Ambergris Caye...
Amanda Syme Offline

Amanda Syme  Offline
Indeed we have many titles that were submitted 3 years ago that we are still waiting on. A simple "lost title" declaration is taking 8 months for a replacement to issued. First registrations are taking many months. And subdivisions? 3 years and counting.

We are told there is an expediting system but it isn't working because there is such a huge back log. The lands department needs to hire on new clerks and clear the back log. It is making life for many difficult because they cannot obtain loans to build homes and it makes my job as a real estate broker very tough because I cannot promise when a title will be clear and delivered.

Now we are finding that the companies registry is backing up and items that would take a day to get are taking 3 weeks or more. Central Bank authorization letters that would take 2 weeks are now taking more than 6 weeks.

The government system is broken and this is one of the areas that creates a huge and constant income stream which would take the financial burden off some of the other areas that we are seeing getting pinched so hard that it is harming the "little guy."

In lands transaction we see good cash flow and the government should invest in this area to get the bottle neck resolved.

It is great to see the taxation departments merging for income tax, business tax and GST - but again, a big part of the collections come from the real estate industry and other supporting industries (think construction work, hardware stores, attorneys, architects, engineers, surveyors) and the back log at the lands department also prevents these professionals from collecting and paying additional taxes related to land transactions.

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