Marianas Variety

Last updateThu, 22 Aug 2019 12am

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    Wednesday, August 21, 2019-2:22:08P.M.

     

     

     

     

     

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DPL awards 16 homestead lots

THROUGH a lottery, the Department of Public Lands awarded 16 homestead lots to applicants who have been on the waiting list for more than 20 or even 30 years.

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First lady Diann T. Torres and Department of Public Lands Homestead Director Irene T. Torres hold the lottery jar prior to the homestead lottery in the DPL conference room on Thursday.  Contributed photo
Two  homestead applicants look at a map during the lottery in the Department of Public Lands conference room on Thursday.
Homestead applicants fill out forms after the lottery.

DPL Homestead Director Irene T. Torres said they invited 19 long-time applicants but only 16 showed up, along with family members, for the lottery which was held in the DPL conference room at 9:30 a.m.

The homestead lots are located in Kagman 1, 2, 3 and 4, and their sizes vary from 600 to 1,000 square meters.

“A lot of happy faces were in the room,” Torres said. “They were smiling as they looked at the map. Some of them were heard saying, ‘Wherever they are, we are happy to get the lot because we’ve been waiting for it for so many years.’”

DPL Secretary Marianne Concepcion-Teregeyo said the applicants picked the lot numbers from a jar. A map on the wall showed the location of the lots.

Patrick Quitugua said he applied for a homestead lot in 1988 but had been off-island for many years as part of his military service.

Concepcion-Teregeyo said issuing homesteads is one of DPL’s tasks in managing public lands as mandated by the CNMI Constitution.

“We are looking at having another lottery at least within the next six months for lots in As Gonno,” she added.

These lotteries involve revoked homestead lots whose original permit holders failed to comply with the requirement to build a house on the land and reside there within three years of the permit date.

Prior to the lottery on Thursday, the DPL secretary told the applicants: “We don’t want to revoke lots. That is not our goal. Our goal is to have somebody build a house and reside on those lots. That is the purpose of homesteads.”