NASSAU, BAHAMAS – The Disaster Reconstruction Authority (DRA) has approved 404 homeowners through its Small Home Repair Programme for Bahamians impacted by Hurricane Dorian.
Managing Director of the authority Kay Forbes-Smith confirmed 2,069 homeowners have registered.
Of that number, 804 need structural assessments; and 471 need to upload documents, she said.
Forbes-Smith said the authority is still waiting on 89 percent of homeowners – 64 percent in Grand Bahama and 25 percent in Abaco – to bring in their quotes so a purchase order can be issued.
The programme allows Bahamians impacted by Hurricane Dorian to access up to $10,000 in funds for repairs.
Forbes-Smith made the announcement during a press conference at the Harry C. Moore Auditorium, updating the public on rebuilding efforts six months after the storm.
She said rapid assessments have been ongoing on both islands in order to speed up the process.
“As the program develops, we will have firm numbers regarding where the majority of the spend will be in the damaged categories,” she said.
“Right now it looks like GB will have a high number of homes with minimal damage and Abaco major damages.
The authority launched the online portal for the programme last month, with 2,069 homeowners having registered thus far.
Residents whose homes were assessed with minimal damage will be eligible for $2,500 in vouchers; those with medium damage will be eligible for $5,000 in vouchers; those with major damage will be eligible for $7,500 in vouchers; and those whose homes were destroyed will be eligible for $10,000 in vouchers, the authority has advised.
Those vouchers would be used for home improvement materials, labour or a combination of both.
To qualify for the programme a person needs to be Bahamian; to own the property in question; there must be proof of residence at August 31, 2019; and the property would need to have been uninsured.
Under the SHRP, tradesmen used for repairs will have to be approved and materials have to be purchased from approved Bahamian vendors.
Forbes-Smith said yesterday that the government is also pursuing several other arenas to provide housing for Bahamians impacted by the deadly Category 5 storm.
She noted that the authority is working on developing 55 lots in Central Pines for single and multi-family use.
“We are in the process of having properties from the Ministry of the Environment and Housing transferred to the Authority,” she said
“We are in the process of having properties from the Ministry of the Environment and Housing transferred to the authority.”
She also pointed to the government’s plan to develop two 60-acre tracts.
“The Surveyor General has confirmed the preliminary survey is complete,” she said.
“The final plans and topography are being properly documented so the information can be included in an RFP we plan to issue by the middle of April.
“It is hoped work would begin on this initiative in the third quarter of this year.”
Forbes-Smith said the development will feature innovative housing solutions that are sustainable, eco-friendly and energy, adding that local and international developers will be invited to provide solutions for the tracts.