Minister of Health and Social Development Ronnie Skelton is advising vulnerable residents in need of housing not to purchase pricey building materials and furniture when they receive grants and/or government loans to rebuild their homes.
“You can’t go looking for expensive materials or the top-of-the-line items, because this money must go from Anegada to Jost Van Dyke to help people,” Skeleton said at a community meeting in the Eighth Electoral District last week.
He gave caution while stating that government will need roughly $39 million to assist vulnerable residents whose homes were damaged or destroyed by the hurricanes.
He said the sum will be shared among five distinct categories of vulnerable residents.
These categories include persons who are under-insured, persons who have no insurance, the poor and needy, retired or elderly persons, and landlords who own occupied apartment buildings with no insurance.
The minister said the $39 million projected for housing assistance is sanctioned by the Ministry of Health but will be distributed through the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB).
Government has already approved roughly $15 million to assist residents.
Types of assistance
Skelton said vulnerable persons may qualify for loans, loans and grants, or just grants.
He said residents who qualify for government loans will have between three years and 25 years to repay.
“It all depends on your ability to pay. The loans will range from about $10,000 for small repairs to $100,000 [for major ones],” Skelton explained.
He continued: “For those people whose homes were totally blown off the foundation and they don’t have any ability to pay, there will be what we refer to as social housing to rebuild that home for that person or for that family so that they can live in it – up to $150,000 [may be allocated in those cases].”
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