No titles, no rates

Letters

IN some towns and cities, there are both established recognised settlements and suburban areas that have been developed for self-help housing schemes and low-to-medium-cost housing.
The difference between these two developments is that the former are no-covenant vacant allotments or blocks, and the latter are built-on with houses.
These developments were undertaken through what was then known as the town subdivision lease (TSL), now known as the urban development lease (UDL).
The NHC, is responsible for the management of these low-to-medium-cost houses, as well as the no-covenant self-help housing allotments within recognised settlement areas.
The low-to-medium-cost houses were allocated to the successful applicants and ultimately given away free. For the low-cost houses was part of the government’s home ownership scheme of the 1980s.
The no-covenant vacant allotments were allocated as self-help housing schemes for the successful applicants to build their own homes. There are, however, issues that had unfortunately been left unattended by responsible State institutions and which needs dealing with.
The State has been losing out on the much-needed revenue, especially from these block or property holders. But the State is not able to collect its land rental or tax from these property holders simply because they have yet to be issued their title.
Land rental and or rates, for the State and municipal authorities respectively, are only collected from those who have leasehold titles.
To resolve this issue, both the NHC and the DLPP will need to address these through the issuance of the titles. NHC still has the titles to most of these low-to-medium-cost houses, although the tenants bought the houses a long time ago.
The DLPP, on the other hand, should have assisted the no-covenant block holders to apply for their titles through the normal land board allocation process.
Not only will this assist in the State’s revenue collection for its land use, but equally important to give the no-covenant block holders and low-to-medium house owners with their much-needed leasehold titles for security purposes.

Lawrence Billy
Hospital Hill
Lae

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