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By Agnes Donato

SAIPAN, CNMI (Saipan Tribune, Sept. 14) – The Marianas Public Lands Authority (MPLA) is distributing village homestead permits to over 140 individuals on Rota.

The homestead permits are for Dugi subdivision, which is located on the northern part of Rota and comprises mainly of ocean view lots that average about 1,000 square meters each.

The village homestead program allows eligible applicants ample public land lot for the construction of a residential dwelling. The agricultural homestead program allows eligible applicants a sizable lot for the development and maintenance of farms crops.

MPLA said that 27 recipients have already picked up their permits. The remaining 115 people may visit the agency's office during work hours to claim theirs.

"We're very pleased with this project. Dugi is going to be a clean and safe homestead subdivision," said MPLA chairwoman Ana Demapan-Castro.

Upon receipt of a village homestead permit, homesteaders are required to enter, use and improve the homestead lot within 120 days and complete a single-family residence within two years after the issuance of the said permit.

They must start living in the homestead as the principal place of residence no later than the end of the second year after the issuance of the homestead permit, and continually reside throughout the third year.

Homesteaders are prohibited from leasing, assigning, selling, or transferring the homestead lot during the permit period.

On Aug. 19, 2005, MPLA lifted the moratorium on the acceptance of applications for villages and agricultural homesteads on Saipan and Rota.

The moratorium has been in effect since Oct. 1, 2002 and affected village homestead applications for Saipan and village and agricultural homestead applications for Rota. MPLA imposed the moratorium due to the dwindling inventory of public land.

MPLA's Homestead Program was created pursuant to the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands Legislature's findings that many Commonwealth residents were without the finances to purchase homes lots in order to construct safe and decent housing.

There are two types of homestead programs-the village and agricultural homestead programs. September 14, 2005

Saipan Tribune

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