Guam -This week’s Weekly Address from Governor Calvo focuses on the progress mae in “Righting Wrongs” at the Chamorro Land Trust Commission.
In it, the Governor praises the progress made by CLTC Director Monte Mafnas in collecting over $2-million dollars in past due fees and surveying and approving leases on hundreds of lots.
He said a portion of that money along with the the annual revenue from the leases, will be used to build utilities connections to most of the CLTC lots that remain. “This will mean that on top of the nearly 300 leases CLTC already has issued in our administration, another 164 families on the wait list will soon have a shot at the Guamanian Dream of homeownership in just the short term.”
HEAR Governor Calvo’s Weekly Address HERE>>>01-28-13 weekly address_1-2.mp3
“Monte was undeterred in his mission to clean up the Chamorro Land Trust Commission,” states the Governor. “It was a long time coming, but had this been done years ago, imagine how many more families wouldn’t be struggling just to pay the rent.”
READ Governor Calvo’s Weekly Address below:
By Eddie Baza Calvo
We discovered irregularities (to state the least) at the Chamorro Land Trust Commission when we took office. Monte Mafnas began looking into leases, wondering whether people and companies skipped ahead of others on the wait list. Not only was this a common practice, several people and companies with leases hadn’t paid a dime of their fees.
The CLTC is exactly that, a trust. It’s held on behalf of qualifying recipients. To date, 10,741 of them are on a wait list to lease land so they can build homes for their families. These Chamorros right now are renting, scraping, struggling to get by. They work hard to provide for their children, and they probably hold down an extra job that keeps them away from their kids.
Skipping ahead on the wait list is bad enough. Years of prioritizing commercial leases above land for residents is terrible. But the fact that companies have profited off this land and failed to pay the fees that could have surveyed the residential lots so they could be leased is unconscionable. Worse, those fees could have paid for the underground utilities needed, like sewer and water connections using the USDA SUTA loan program; a first for the CLTC.
So we began to fix these problems. It’s two years later and the CLTC, under Monte’s watch, has surveyed and approved hundreds of lots. They’ve also collected over $2 million in fees from past-due tenants. A portion of this and the annual revenue from what will be collected, will be used to build utilities connections to most of the CLTC lots that remain. This will mean that on top of the nearly 300 leases CLTC already has issued in our administration, another 164 families on the wait list will soon have a shot at the Guamanian Dream of homeownership in just the short term.
This is the result of playing by the rules and enforcing justice. Monte was undeterred in his mission to clean up the Chamorro Land Trust Commission. It was a long time coming, but had this been done years ago, imagine how many more families wouldn’t be struggling just to pay the rent. All of that money could have been paying for the mortgage of newly-constructed homes on ready-to-build-on CLTC lots.
We’ll continue up this path, not just with the CLTC, but with all our agencies. We’re proud of how far we’ve come, but we still have a long way to go. On the issue of affordable housing alone, our goal is to bring the dream of homeownership closer to 3,000 families by 2017. That’s only one of our initiatives. The progress we’re making here is an indication of our commitment to excellence in service to you.