The government’s Small Home Repair Programme, which will provide vouchers to people whose homes were damaged in Hurricane Dorian, is set to launch on February 10, according to a statement from the Bahamas Disaster Reconstruction Authority.
Residents whose homes were completely destroyed will be eligible to receive $10,000 in vouchers. Those with major damage will receive $7,500 in vouchers.
Homeowners whose homes suffered medium damage will be eligible for $5,000 in vouchers and those whose homes sustained only minimal damage will be eligible for $2,500 in vouchers.
“Those who receive vouchers will be able to use them for home improvement materials, labor or a combination of both,” the statement read.
Hurricane Dorian devastated parts of Abaco and Grand Bahama in September, leaving at least 70 dead and thousands more homeless and displaced.
According to the authority, there will be both online and in-person registration options for the Small Home Repair Programme.
On Grand Bahama, people will be able to register in person at the Small Home Repair Programme office at the Office of the Prime Minister. On Abaco, they can register at the administration complex in Marsh Harbour.
Only Bahamian homeowners can qualify for the program, the statement noted. They must be able to provide proof of residence at August 31, 2019.
Only homes that were uninsured will be eligible.
In an effort to “keep money in the country”, Managing Director of the Bahamas Disaster Reconstruction Authority Katherine Forbes Smith said materials can only be purchased from approved vendors in The Bahamas, and tradesmen used for repairs will also have to be approved.
“We need to support the small businesses so they can keep people employed,” she said.
According to the statement, the authority will disburse half of the voucher initially. Once an inspector ensures that money was spent on the home in question, the remaining 50 percent will be disbursed.
The Bahamas Disaster Reconstruction Authority has also partnered with non-governmental organizations, which provide supplies and logistical and technical assistance, the statement noted.