Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit has said that titles will be given to the Dominicans who are receiving houses from the government but indicated that certain conditions will be placed on them.
Skerrit spoke at a town hall meeting in New York on June 22nd, 2019.
“The majority of the people who are receiving homes will in fact get a title to these homes but there will be certain conditions placed on that and there will be some who will have lifetime access to their homes and if they were to pass on, the homes will revert to government ownership so we can pass it onto somebody else,” he said.
He elaborated, “So, in case we have for example, a couple in their 80’s or 70’s who the government has given a home…that couple will have access to that home up until their death and that home will revert to the government so we could pass it to somebody else.”
However, according to the prime minister, the majority of people will have actual titles.
“Our laws also make provision or it allows for the granting of strata titles, so in a case where we have apartments, you can still have a title so you can use that as security in the bank and own your property and bequeath it to your children etc.,” Skerrit explained.
A strata title allows individual ownership of part of a property such as an apartment or townhouse, combined with shared ownership in the remainder such as driveways, gardens etc.
He stated homes will be given to persons who are the most vulnerable in society such as people who have stayed in the shelters for a long period of time, the elderly and families with children.
Meantime, Skerrit told his audience that a decision on legalizing the ownership of a small portion of marijuana will soon be taken to parliament.
“There are a number of Dominicans who were arrested and charged for possession of Marijuana in very small quantities…less than half an ounce and they have this on their record and cannot move on to another phase in their lives. So, we will be taking the discussion to go to parliament…so that people could have a clear record going forward,” the prime minister stated.
Responding to a question regarding his government’s position on the exploration of the economic potential of marijuana, Skerrit told his audience that his government is moving in the same direction as a number of countries but they want to ensure that whatever actions are taken are constructive “which will not necessarily harm the society.”
“We’re looking at what has been done in some jurisdictions with regard to legislation and to see how we can model ours to be consistent with our own thinking,” he said.
Skerrit added, “I will also be looking at the issue of some persons who are in prison now on marijuana charges again for small amounts and they were not able to pay the fine and they were incarcerated, we’ll be looking to have those persons released from prison and also have that particular matter expunge from their records as well.”
He said the government is very strong on the issue of decriminalizing a certain quantity of marijuana so people can have in their possession for medicinal and religious purposes.