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Forget Florida - Spend Repair Grants At Home

Prime Minister Dr Hubert Minnis.

Prime Minister Dr Hubert Minnis.

By DENISE MAYCOCK

Tribune Freeport Reporter

dmaycock@tribunemedia.net

PRIME Minister Dr Hubert Minnis officially launched the Small Homes Repair Programme in Grand Bahama to help residents rebuild their homes destroyed five months ago by Hurricane Dorian. He said the programme will be implemented in Abaco on February 17, and in New Providence on February 24.

Dr Minnis said there are four categories of purchase orders that will be granted, ranging from $2,500 to $10,000 grants depending on the degree of damage.

He urged recipients to support approved businesses in The Bahamas, instead of spending it abroad in Florida.

“This is important. We want to keep the money spent on this programme in the country. That will help Bahamian businesses,” he said.

“We also want to make sure the money spent is used for home repair,” Dr Minnis said.

The prime minister stated that if residents in Grand Bahama cannot find what they need in Freeport, they can always go to New Providence and spend with businesses there.

The in-person sign-up location for the programme is located at the Office of the Prime Minister in the Harold DeGregory Government Complex in Freeport. However, the prime minister is encouraging persons to go online at www.drabahamas.org to register.

In Abaco, residents may register at the Government Complex, and in New Providence, persons may register at the NEMA on Gladstone Road.

During yesterday’s opening ceremony, Dr Minnis said that residents whose homes were assessed with minimal damage will be eligible for $2,500 in purchase orders.

Purchase orders in the amount of $5,000 and $7,500 would be eligible to persons with medium damage, and major damage, respectively.

Dr Minnis stated that purchase orders in the amount of $10,000 would be eligible to persons whose homes were destroyed.

He noted that recipients will be able to use the funds for home improvement materials, labour, or a combination of both.

“As a government, we understand that many Bahamians in the disaster zones have had great financial pressures placed on them. It has been difficult for many to find the funds necessary to make repairs to their homes,” Dr Minnis said.

The prime minister noted that persons must meet certain criteria to qualify for the programme.

A person needs to be Bahamian, own the property in question, and there must be proof of residence as of August 31, 2019. The property would need to have been uninsured, and the property has to be in Grand Bahama, Abaco, and the cays.

Under the programme, he said, tradesmen contracted for repairs will need to be approved, and material purchased with purchase orders will have to be from approved vendors in the Bahamas.

In order to make sure money is used for home repairs, Dr Minnis said the Disaster Reconstruction Authority will disburse 50 percent of the purchase orders first to qualifying applicants.

“An inspector will check and ensure that the purchase order was spent on the home. Once that is confirmed the remaining 50 percent will be disbursed,” he stated.

Dr Minnis explained that the DRA has also partnered with various NGOs in communities affected by Dorian.

Through the partnerships, he said the government pays for home repair labour, and the NGOs provide supplies and various types of logistical and technical assistance.

“Those initiatives will continue in conjunction with this new Small Home Repair Programme. We thank the NGOs that are assisting for their generosity and kindness to Bahamians in need,” he said.

In terms of hurricane restoration, Dr Minnis said his government continues to work hard in restoring disaster zones in the northern Bahamas.

He noted that Hurricane Dorian brought historic destruction and was the strongest to hit the chain of islands. Full recovery for the islands affected, he said, will take a long time.

Dr Minnis noted that high surge destroyed homes and businesses, and lives were lost.

Dorian was the second strongest hurricane by wind speed recorded in the Atlantic. Its power was immense; its destruction was widespread.

“It will take years for us to fully recover,” he said.

“Government pledges its full support along each step of the way to restoration. We came to government to help people. This Small Homes Repair Programme is directed at helping Bahamian people get their homes back to normalcy,” he said. “We are a resilient people. Together we will build back better and stronger.”

Comments

birdiestrachan 1 week, 3 days ago

doc "We came into Government to help people" Yes doc by raising VAT 60% and becoming the 6th most expensive state in the world.

Every time doc opens his mouth he lies. He seems not to be able to help himself. he just LIES.

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proudloudandfnm 1 week, 3 days ago

You think he lies more than Perry? Or Ping? Or Fred Mitchell? Or Brave? Or BJ Nottage?

Pulease…..

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Clamshell 1 week, 3 days ago

Once again, Birdie refuses to acknowledge that VAT was introduced by the PLP. I’ll remind him/her every time he/she brings up the FNM’s increase in VAT. Facts. Facts. Facts.

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Well_mudda_take_sic 1 week, 3 days ago

He {Minnis} urged recipients to support approved businesses in The Bahamas, instead of spending it abroad in Florida.

“This is important. We want to keep the money spent on this programme in the country. That will help Bahamian businesses,” he {Minnis} said.

Minnis is a certifiable looney. He truly believes he can make our struggling local economy better by talk alone. Meanwhile his tax and spend policies have created the most unfavourable business envronment our country has ever seen. Expect many more local businesses to be closing their doors between now and the next general election and for more bank closures to come.

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birdiestrachan 1 week, 3 days ago

List doc lies. The post office, VAT, The Spy bill. VAT BAH MAR Help for the poor. just to name a few.

Now you are free to name the others lies. Proud FNM

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bogart 1 week, 3 days ago

Year 2000 the Govt pulls in around 1 billion dollars in revenue.....in 2019 the govt pulls in around 2.5 billion dollars in revenue an in dat wid VAT bringing in roughly 1 billion dollars whichinin used to be in consumers public pocket last few years.

Seems way past time the patient public aint in the wheelchair, da patient public crossing Jordon. All the regressive VAT taxes striking errybody and the elites, friends, cronies lovers benefitting most just jacking up prices and at the pig trough.

Govt just been shovelling money into Govt agencies, known paying hundreds of millions of taxpayers money into its cohorts politically appointed run entities like BoB, other agencies.....W&S one fella questioned on how many hours dey work for gettin paid, workers at Education gett paid an never show up at work, one half mountain get knock down Palmetto an no Clinic there, 18 million an no PMH computer, on an on.....jus like a continuous racketeering.

Public pushed into poverty VAT regressive mechanism effectively and expontenually cascading downwards driving erryone to make the most of the money even going to Miani. Govt aint figure it out that you can get the most from Miami.

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TalRussell 1 week, 3 days ago

If you're shopping over in The Good Ole USA and just happens spot a elected, politically appointed or hired on cushy paycheque comrade red shits - doing some american dollars shopping - do snap a picture and post it on social media - we colony's PM's, most favourite source yell at? And, if by chance you spot red in isles one them Big Box Outlets - that calls for closeup picture taking. Cant write this. Just, can't.

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birdiestrachan 1 week, 3 days ago

Because the PLP introduced VAT. even if the FNM had planned to do so. does it seem right to "Its the peoples time " voter to increase it 60%

If this is so then throw all logic out of the window, It makes no sense.

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killemwitdakno 6 days, 3 hours ago

Such careful verbiage toward our biggest help.

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