Residents living in severely damaged homes may get some help from a programme for which government lawmakers just earmarked $15 million.
On Tuesday evening, House of Assembly members unanimously voted to withdraw that sum from the Reserve Fund and put it towards the “Housing Recovery Assistance Programme.”
“This is an important step that we are taking here to help to secure the lives of so many people of the BVI who’ve been affected by the hurricanes Irma and Maria by destruction to their houses,” Premier Dr. Orlando Smith said, adding, “In many of the statements I’ve made and other members have made, it’s been said that at least 70 percent of the housing stock has been affected, some very seriously. Many losing their roofs.”
Damage was especially prevalent in Huntums Ghut and Long Look, the premier added.
Lawmakers also approved a $5 million withdrawal from the Reserve Fund to assist law enforcement and border protection agencies in the territory.
“It is important for this country to remain stable, to remain as crime free as it used to be and we expect it to be,” Dr. Smith said.
Part of that funding will go towards more scanners and searches at ports of entry; CCTV cameras; digital radios for several agencies; and Tasers for police officers on patrol, as well as increasing customs and police marine capability, Governor Gus Jaspert said at a press conference last month.