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JN Small Business Loans Limited (JNSBL): New Loan Facility for LAMP Beneficiaries

KINGSTON, Jamaica – JN Small Business Loans Limited (JNSBL), the microfinance subsidiary of the Jamaica National Building Society, has designed a new loan facility to assist beneficiaries of Government’s Land Administration and Management Programme (LAMP) to access funds to finance the cost of land titling.

Thelma Yong, JNSBL Credit and Risk Assessment Manager announced the establishment of the loan product during the launch of the LAMP II Partnership at the Department of Local Government on Hagley Park Road, St. Andrew recently.

Thelma Yong
She said that JNSBL is among several financial institutions that have partnered with Government to ease the cost associated with financing land titling for residents in the parishes covered by LAMP II, which includes St. Elizabeth, Clarendon and parts of Manchester.

Other financial institutions which have partnered with LAMP are: the National Housing Trust; the National People’s Co-operative Bank; the National Commercial Bank; First Caribbean International Bank and the St. Elizabeth Co-Operative Credit Union.

JNSBL is offering low interest loans of up to $150,000 to LAMP beneficiaries which can be repaid over a maximum period of 40 weeks.

In announcing the new facility, Mrs. Yong said the fund would assist many Jamaicans to realize their dream of becoming legitimate land owners.

“Land is a vital asset to many Jamaicans. It can be used as collateral when applying for loans and is, therefore, seen as an important tool used to launch entrepreneurial dreams and improve the lives of our people,” she said. “It is a valuable asset that can be passed on from generation to generation, providing opportunities to lift families out of poverty.”

She pointed out that, in spite of the high regard for land capital, nearly half of Jamaican land owners did not have land titles; and noted that without a land title, many Jamaicans had no form of security and were therefore vulnerable to displacement and indignities.

“Through our partnership with the Land Administration and Management Programme, JN Small Business Loans has designed a facility to assist these citizens, who are determined to improve their lives, and become registered land owners,” Mrs. Yong said. “We anticipate that this loan facility will bring needed assistance to the LAMP beneficiaries and that it will help them in their efforts to transform their lives and economic status.”

Mrs. Yong said loan applications would be processed in ten days and that applications could be made through JNSBL’s Junction and Santa Cruz locations, as well as the Whitehouse JN Money Shop in St. Elizabeth. Applications may also be made through select JNSBL locations in the adjoining parishes of Westmoreland and Manchester.

Gloria Brown, LAMP’s Project Director, who welcomed the partnership with the financial institutions, said the collaboration would accelerate the titling programme.

She said there was a need for a radical shift in the approach to land registration as nearly 400,000 parcels of lands were unregistered.

LAMP was piloted in St. Catherine in 2000, and was expanded to include Clarendon, Manchester, St. Elizabeth and St. Thomas. The parishes of St. Mary, St. Ann and Portland were added recently. The community of Rose Town in Kingston has also been declared a LAMP area in an effort to renew the urban settlement, Mrs. Brown said.

The programme has enjoyed an 88 per cent success rate in registration, compared to a 20 to 40 per cent success at the private bar.

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