January 12, 2020
The Government is launching a Homes Repair Programme for structures damaged or destroyed by Hurricane Dorian through which residents could receive up to $10,000 in vouchers based on the degree of damage to their homes from the storm.
Katherine Forbes-Smith, Managing Director of the Bahamas Disaster Reconstruction Authority, announced the programme on Tuesday night at a town hall meeting at Faith Walk Church of God in Cooper’s Town.
The programme is scheduled to begin the first week of February. Residents will be able to use the vouchers to purchase building materials and other items related to restoring their homes.
There will be four categories for which vouchers will be granted. 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.
“It’s going to be a managed process,” said Mrs. Forbes-Smith.
Home assessments have been made in various communities with additional assessments still being conducted. Homes would have to have been assessed to access the voucher system.
“And the expectation is that that is to be spent on the home and to rebuild your home,” said Mrs. Forbes-Smith.
The Managing Director also noted that many containers with materials have come into Abaco to assist residents. The Authority will soon coordinate a major distribution of these items with the assistance of Local Government authorities.
“So whatever is in the containers will be distributed throughout Abaco and it is for the people,” said Mrs. Forbes-Smith.
The Authority will continue hosting town hall meetings in communities affected by Hurricane Dorian over the next few weeks.
Hurricane Dorian hit Abaco and Grand Bahama in September. With maximum sustained winds of 185 miles per hour, Dorian was the strongest storm to hit The Bahamas.
(BIS Photos/Patrick Hanna)