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Gov’t calls on private sector; help ‘displaced’ homeowners

One of the houses damaged by Hurricane Irma.

While calling for contributions from the private sector, Government has now clarified the requirements for residents looking to benefit from the homeowners assistance programme; an initiative between themselves and Rotary Clubs of the BVI.

It stated that only displaced homeowners will be considered as eligible candidates for assistance.

The ministry also said homeowners without insurance, and/or are currently unemployed or classified as low-income earners also qualify.

“Other vulnerable individuals will be considered on a case by case basis,” it said.

The ministry explained that under the assistance programme for homeowners, “persons can access housing assistance for the rebuild or repair of their homes by applying for material, labour, or both”.

Private sector assistance

It added that materials were collectively provided by the United Kingdom’s Department for International Development (DFID), Truck and Equipment Sales and Service (TESS), FirstBank, and telecoms providers Digicel.

“Businesses and companies are invited to partner in this initiative by donating material, labour, supplies and/or cash vouchers,” it added.

Meanwhile, the ministry stated that registration for housing assistance is now open. It said needy homeowners are required to complete the National Emergency Relief and Recovery Assistance form.

Homeowners on Tortola can retrieve forms at the Department of Social Development office, which is located upstairs the Road Town Seniors’ Centre, next to the BVI Red Cross.

Residents on three main sister islands – Virgin Gorda, Jost Van Dyke, and Anegada – may get forms at the respective distribution centres.

“Applicants should provide a surveyor’s report of the damaged building if available. In cases where reports are not available, the building assessments will be conducted by qualified professionals identified by the ministry.”

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