BVI News

Christmas goal; possible rental housing for shelter residents

Director of the Department of Disaster Management (DDM) Sharleen DaBreo

Director of the Department of Disaster Management (DDM) Sharleen DaBreo said she is pushing to have persons out of shelters by Christmas, adding that government is willing to pay for persons to be placed in rental accommodations.

The DDM had stated that all shelters would have been officially closed yesterday, November 30.

But, the Department recognized that some shelter occupants still had no alternative place to live so occupants are being allowed to stay longer.

While noting that government never had intentions of removing persons from shelters on to the streets, DaBreo said de facto shelters like the Multipurpose Complex in Road Town still needs to be used for its original purpose.

“We are [therefore] pushing as hard as we possibly can for Christmas. We want to be able to give people some sense of normalcy. And if people can get back into their homes and have a roof over their heads and have somewhere to celebrate Christmas, then that would be something that we want to celebrate with them,” DaBreo told BVI News.

“There may be some of them that we have to find some rental accommodation but because of the situation on the ground right now where apartments have become so difficult to find, that may be a challenge.”

“We are trying every single option that is available to us to try to help them,” said DaBreo.

The DDM director said other options include fixing damaged roofs and fully rebuilding homes for shelter residents.

“The NEOC (National Emergency Operations Centre) has been deactivated so we need to close those centres because they need to go back to what they’re being used for. So, what we’re doing is we’re trying to transition whoever is remaining in any kind of shelter into a more permanent establishment.”

“We have not met our target so we have to try to fast-track whatever we’re doing to help the people to get back into their homes,” DaBreo told BVI News.

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