NASSAU, BAHAMAS – The Bahamas Disaster Reconstruction Authority yesterday launched its Small Home Repair Programme, which would allow Bahamians impacted by Hurricane Dorian to access up to $10,000 in funds for repairs.
Prime Minister Dr. Hubert Minnis, members of the authority and other officials traveled to Grand Bahama for the launch of the program and the opening of that island’s office.
“As a government, we understand that many Bahamians in the disaster zones have had great financial pressures placed on them,” said Minnis, who gave the keynote address during the opening ceremony.
“It has been difficult for many to find the funds necessary to make repairs to their homes.
“In an effort to assist, my government is launching the Small Home Repair Programme.”
Qualified storm victims will be eligible for funds in four categories.
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.
Individuals can register online at https://www.drabahamas.org/.
They can also go to in-person sign-up locations at the Office of the Prime Minister in Grand Bahama; the government complex in Abaco; and the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) on Gladstone Road in New Providence.
The Abaco office is expected to on February 17 and the New Providence office of February 24.
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.
The prime minister yesterday encouraged those recipients to “keep the money spent on this programme in the country”.
Minnis explained that the authority will disburse 50 percent of the approved value initially, and once an inspect checks to ensure it was spent on the home, the reaming 50 percent will be released.
“My government pledges its full support along each step of the way to restoration,” he said.
“We came to government to help people. This Small Home Repair Programme is directed at helping Bahamian people get their homes back to normalcy. We are a resilient people. Together we will build back better and stronger.”
Minnis added that he will provide more details about the government’s rebuilding and restoration efforts during his national address tonight.