Even as some residents still struggle to repair their homes, and some remain in shelters, plans are afoot to provide assistance to public officers to repair their homes.
Additionally, the Government will be unrolling a programme to help persons with their mortgage payments.
This was disclosed by Premier and Minister of Finance, Hon. Andrew Fahie.
In his budget speech recently, the Premier announced, “We are delighted to deliver on the promise to provide funds to assist public officers with hurricane repairs to their homes, that was made known by a needs assessment for public officers and was never addressed.”
The Premier further disclosed that funds will be made available in the budget allocations to help qualifying unemployed persons to pay their mortgages.
In 2017, Hurricanes Irma and Maria damaged some 70 percent of the homes in the BVI. As a result, many persons are still living in houses without roofing, and badly damaged doors and windows.
The reconstruction process has been very difficult, given the steep increase in construction materials and labour, in addition to ballooning insurance premium rates.
“We are setting up a fund to assist residents who have difficulties with employment since Irma and who have fallen behind on their payments to financial institutions with their properties. The mechanism for the management of that fund will be unveiled in the coming days,” the Premier announced.
The previous National Democratic Party (NDP) Government had also taken measures to assist with the repair of homes. This was done through the creation and implementation of the Housing Recovery Assistance Programme under the Ministry of Health and Social Development.
The last House of Assembly (HoA) had approved the withdrawal of $15M from the Reserve Fund to finance the programme, which benefited 105 homeowners with assistance to rebuild and repair their homes.