The first ninety beneficiaries under the Dominica housing Recovery Project have been oriented.
The orientation was held on Friday, August 28 2020, on the St. Alphonsus Parish Hall. The Dominica Housing Recovery Project is one of the many initiatives under the Government Housing Revolution and aims at building resilience in Dominica’s housing sector.
The housing sector was severely impacted by the passage of Hurricane Maria in 2017, leaving many citizens homeless with over ninety percent of the housing stock impacted. Four thousand, five hundred homes were completely destroyed, and approximately twenty thousand homes were partially damaged.
Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Housing and Urban Development, Mr. Reginald Severin says the Housing Recovery Project is an initiative by the Government of Dominica led by Prime Minister Honourable Roosevelt Skerrit in collaboration with the World Bank in response to Hurricane Maria.
“As we have over the past two years, we have been doing everything in the Ministry to ensure that we are able to fully implement the Housing Recovery Program. The Housing Recovery Project which stemmed out of Hurricane Maria, has been a response through a negotiated housing finance by the Honourable Prime Minister in collaboration with the World Bank as a result of a direct impact of the result of Hurricane Maria which caused the loss of over five thousand homes. This particular project is targeting individuals who have completely lost their homes, and also the over twenty thousand homes that were partially damaged,” Mr. Severin stated.
Project Manager at the Project Implementation Unit of the Housing Recovery Project, Mr. Nicholas Bruno gave the criteria required before applicants are chosen as beneficiaries.
“The house must be five hundred square feet or less. The house must have been completely destroyed by Hurricane Maria; must not be located in a hazard risk area; the applicant must have been residing in the house prior to the disaster and is currently a resident of Dominica; the home was uninsured and the applicant has not received direct reconstruction structural support from one of the other Government programs or donor agencies in excess of ten thousand dollars; and finally the destroyed house had to be the primary residence of the applicant,” Mr. Bruno listed.
Senior Minister and Minister for Housing and Urban Development, Honourable Reginald Austrie says the Housing Recovery Project is different from all the other government housing programs as the beneficiaries will have full control of all funds.
“Ninety of you under this project is here to receive confirmation of being approved to benefit under this project. You will not be receiving a cheque today, but that is what you will get, which is what makes this program different from the other programs that we have had; where the recipients or the beneficiaries will have full control of the financing from day one. You will not be given a cheque but a cheque will be placed in your name at a financial institution and with a tight level of supervision under that project, you will be able to sign your cheque when the supervisors says that you can,” Minister Austrie explained.
Prime Minister of Dominica and Minister of Finance, Honourable Roosevelt Skerrit thanked the World Bank for being an ‘extraordinary partner to Dominica.
“I want to thank the World Bank for being an extraordinary partner to Dominica. You know in the past I have criticized the World Bank for being slow, but I believe in the past several years they have certainly demonstrated their true commitment; and I believe without any fear of contradiction that Dominica has the best working relationship with the World Bank in all of the developing nations of the world. It’s an extraordinary partnership and I want to thank them for that,” PM Skerrit added.