BVI News

Nearly 2 dozen still in temporary homes on JVD, no $$ or land ownership

Health Minister Carvin Malone. (BVI News photo)

Social Development Minister Carvin Malone has pointed to insufficient funds and the lack of land ownership as the reasons nearly two dozen persons are still living in temporary housing on Jost Van Dyke.

Malone made those remarks during the recent sitting of the House of Assembly while responding to questions from District Representative for the sister island, Melvin ‘Mitch’ Turnbull.

Turnbull, in his quest for answers, said these persons still living in tents and temporary housing are without restrooms and running water.

“Several persons remain displaced following the 2017 hurricane for a variety of reasons,” Malone said while responding to Turnbull.

And while explaining why money is not available to assist these residents, Malone said: “[There is a] lack of funding in some regards because it had surpassed the budgetary allotments.”

“Also, lack of ownership of land and the inability to secure permission from registered landowners to rebuild properties that were occupied prior to the storms [are other reasons],” Malone added.

Two still in tents

Malone said while nine applicants were approved to receive assistance to repair or to reconstruct homes on the island, three domes have been deployed by the ministry as temporary housing until permanent housing solutions can be implemented.

He continued: “To my knowledge, there were two persons remaining in tents on Jost Van Dyke, neither of whom has secured access to land for home construction whether on a temporary or permanent basis. It is a hindrance. This situation points to a growing need to supply affordable and dignified public housing in the territory to alleviate chronic homelessness. Unfortunately, the resources currently under the HRAP are insufficient at this time to meet this demand,” he stated.

Malone explained that his ministry continues to conduct outreach programmes on the island to encourage these residents to seek permission and assistance from the HRAP as well as to secure the landowners consent, planning permission and regulatory permits where possible.

He said while he was in no position to predict a date when each displaced person will be provided with permanent housing, he assured that “every effort is being made to prioritize and expedite the disbursement of available funds for home repairs and reconstruction based on needs through a combination of technical and social assessments”.

Essential services coming

In the meantime, the Social Development Minister said residents who have been living in temporary housing structures would soon receive washroom facilities, electricity, septic tank systems and water connections.

He said the undertaking would be a collaboration between his ministry, the Recovery and Development Agency and Unite BVI.

Seven-plus million-dollar agreement

During a Cabinet meeting in May, more than $7 million was made available to assist homeowners in becoming hurricane ready.

This was done through amendments to an agreement that had been signed between the government and the National Bank of the Virgin Islands for government’s HRAP.

The sum of $1.7 million will go towards social housing, $5.5 million will go towards general grants, and $500,000 will be earmarked for low-interest loans.

More than 100 persons benefitted from the assistance.

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11 Comments

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  1. vip heckler says:

    Money for top of the line vehicles, consultants and bodyguards only

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    • Bluefin says:

      When is the whistleblower law going to be introduced? When do we get to see what we are really spending all of our money on?

  2. hmmm says:

    but its ok, lets have festival. They have waited nearly two years, they can wait another few days..
    SMFH sort yourselves out people. Help your people, they need you!!

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  3. Talks says:

    Always talking like a bunch of idle parrots.

  4. Act says:

    Living in tents? Wow, just wow! No words; just disgust.

  5. Retired says:

    Ever since Irma devastated the Virgin Islands it seems that Jost has had a closer relationship with St. John than the BVI government on Tortola. Perhaps some or all of the 24 Jost residents in temporary shelters could re-locate to St. John while the BVI government searches for a housing solution on Jost.

  6. CW says:

    STRUPE COMMENTS

    You know they have line items in budgets correct? Money is required for different things at the same time. You act like the money going to bodyguards and other government me needs (WHICH ALL ELECTED LEADERS HAVE AROUND THE WORLD) is being taken from those in JVD. Nothing in that is the truth. Grow up and learn about how the economy and government budgets work.

    STRUPE PEOPLE MAKE STRUPE COMMENTS

    STRUPE THINKING MAKES STRUPE CONSEQUENCES

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  7. Nuts says:

    That c***y w***e woman still in a tent? Give her a ticket home

  8. Hard working lady says:

    My house went flat to the ground and because I didn’t have land papers to own the property I never received any help from the government. I build my home from scratch with no help and only to plaster the outside and some little work done. Because I would still be living in a tent. I thank God for the Rotary club who came to my rescue thank God. I seek help and no one help me. So I hope the less fortunate would get some help and no promises.

    • Kudos says:

      I applaud you for stepping up! A lot of times ppl refuse to take responsibility for themselves depending only on Government. I understand it would be difficult for Government to rebuild a home for someone who did not own the property previously. However, at some point in time these homeowners should have had something put aside to at least start to make a little headway seeing as these homes may have been rent free.Just saying.

  9. Yessah says:

    Well sah I have land and still waiting got kick out of a job no worries God is good

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