At least 170 families on Tinian will soon get their homestead permits so they can start building the home of their dreams, five years after the drawing of lots and 11 years since the project started. The Department of Public Lands said yesterday a groundbreaking for the West San Jose Village Homestead will be held on Wednesday, Feb. 5.
“This will be the last phase of this project. The village homestead will benefit 170 families,” DPL Planning Division supervisor Patricia Rasa told Saipan Tribune.
Rasa said five other village homestead sites are being developed on Tinian and are expected to accommodate at least 345 families.
Families will start getting their homestead permits that provide them three years to complete the requirements and build their homes.
“Once the permit holders have completed the requirements, it becomes their property and they get the deed to the property,” Rasa added.
If, after three years they still have not met the requirements, the families need to justify this with DPL or their homestead permit will be revoked.
Rep. Trenton Conner (Ind-Tinian) separately said yesterday that DPL’s announcement of a groundbreaking is “welcome news.”
“It’s about time the families get their homestead permits. They have waited long enough for this,” Conner said on Capital Hill.
The lawmaker said a $1.7-million appropriation under the budget law helped pave the way for the Tinian homestead project to move forward.
As to who should fund other infrastructure needs such as power and water, Conner said this issue is still subject to interpretation. DPL’s Rasa echoed this.
DPL’s Rasa said the Feb. 5 groundbreaking for the West San Jose Village Homestead at 10:30am will be led by Gov. Eloy S. Inos, Lt. Gov. Jude U. Hofschneider, DPL Secretary Pete A. Tenorio, Tinian Mayor Ramon Dela Cruz, the Tinian Legislative Delegation and the Tinian Municipal Council, among others.
In 2009, DPL under then secretary John Del Rosario held a drawing of lots for 429 Tinian families who have waited for years for a place to build their homes.
Each homestead lot has a size of anywhere between 800 square meters and 1,000 sq.m.
The groundbreaking also comes some two months after the governor signed last year an over $656,000 contract for Pacific Cooperation Ltd. to start construction of a road and ponding basin for the West San Jose Homestead Subdivision on Tinian. This was months after receiving sealed bids on the “right-of-way and excavation of the ponding basin for the homestead subdivision project.
The work includes the grubbing, grading, and construction of approximately 11, 918 linear feet of road.