Small Homes Repair Programme opens Abaco office

Following the rollout of government’s Small Homes Repair Programme on Grand Bahama last week, the Disaster Reconstruction Authority officially opened its Abaco office yesterday.

Disaster Reconstruction Authority Chairman John Michael Clarke also told reporters that a New Providence office will be opened in the future for Hurricane Dorian survivors who have relocated to New Providence.

He further said that sometime in the future, two 60-acre tracts of land on Abaco would be open for housing developments.

“Last week, we would have opened in Grand Bahama, the Freeport office,” Clarke said on the sidelines of a “Recovery Policy, Recovery Plan and the Institutional Arrangements for Implementation” workshop at the Securities Commission on East Bay Street yesterday.

“This week, we are focused on Abaco, so persons now can go to the government complex in Abaco and they can register online to get their homes repaired.

“From what I understand, the program is being well received in Grand Bahama. We’re going to have, along with the Abaco office, we’re actually going to have an office here in Nassau…for persons from Grand Bahama and Abaco who live in New Providence and want to register for home repairs.”

Under the program, 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.

The program also stipulates that only homes that were uninsured will be eligible, and that only Bahamian homeowners that can provide proof of residence at August 31, 2019, can qualify for the program.

Clarke noted that the program is part of the authority’s focus on permanent housing solutions for storm victims.

“Don’t forget now, the prime minister has outlined that there are still two 60-acre tracts that we would be encouraging local and international developers to come in and develop,” Clarke said.

“So, we want to get back to providing permanent homes for persons. That is the ultimate reconstruction goal.”

He added, “The Small Homes Repair Programme right now that we’re opening today is for persons who’ve had damage to their property.

“So, the new development, that will be done in consultation with the stakeholders in Abaco.

“And that’s a part of our new reconstruction resilient solution for the island of Abaco.”

Clarke said one of the 60-acre properties is in Wilson City and the other is near Spring City.

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