Nearly 650 Abaco residents approved for home repair funding

Nearly 650 Abaco residents approved for home repair funding
North Abaco MP Darren Henfield (BIS Photos/Patrick Hanna)

NASSAU, BAHAMAS — The government’s Small Home Repair Program has approved funding for 60 percent of its applicants impacted by Hurricane Dorian on Abaco, according to North Abaco MP Darren Henfield.

While presenting his contribution to the 2020/2021 budget debate, Henfield advised that some 1,073 people from Abaco have applied for the program as they seek to rebuild their homes post-Dorian.

“Those remaining are either still required to upload additional documents or are pending approval,” he said.

The Category 5 storm devastated Grand Bahama and Abaco in early September – severely impacting some 30,000 people and 9,000 homes  – 89 percent of the damage occurring on the Abaco Islands.

The Disaster and Reconstruction Authority (DRA) launched the SHRP program in February to help residents in need.

As of May 31, more than 3,200 applications were received from the impacted residents of Abaco and Grand Bahama whose homes were destroyed or damaged during the passage of the Category 5 storm.

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, labor, or a combination of both.

Henfield noted yesterday that some $1.87 million has already been spent in the form of purchase orders that have been issued to homeowners for the purchase of construction materials from hardware supply stores on Abaco and Grand Bahama.

He further encouraged Abaconians to get their documents into the small home repair office at the Government Complex or upload online in an effort to complete your application for processing;

Henlfied also announced that the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and Rotary has donated an RV to the authority so it can continue program registrations and home assessments in Abaco in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Henfield said 32 temporary housing domes have been erected in Spring City, with an additional 173 to be erected on the properties of various homeowners while they monitor the rebuilding of their homes.