The short term housing recovery programme has ended with a visit to the home of two recipients by His Excellency the Governor Augustus ‘Gus’ Jaspert and Minister for Health and Social Development, Honourable Calvin Malone.
Mr. David Mathias and Ms. Callwood are beneficiaries of the Housing Recovery Programme undertaken by the Housing Recovery Unit (HRU) within the Ministry of Health and Social Development with support from the Governor’s Office and the United Kingdom.
Governor Jaspert in a brief ceremony said although the programme is focused on individual households, it contributes to the recovery and rebuilding of the Territory. The Governor said, “I am delighted that the strong partnership between the UK and BVI governments has delivered tangible improvements to people’s lives such as shown today in restoring homes. Each individual success is part of the Territory’s success as a whole.”
Minister Malone expressed thanks to the UK government and the Housing Recovery Unit for being instrumental in the delivery of the project and confirmed the resolve of the Government of the Virgin Islands to get as many people back into their homes. He said that Mr. Mathias and Ms. Callwood’s property is a very good example of the programme, adding, “Not only do we have a resilient home but a farm, a farmer and florist. Life has been restored by this initiative.”
Looking ahead to the longer term Housing Recovery Programme, Minister Malone stated, “We must be able to have our people feeling safe. We appreciate all the efforts from the ministry and the excellent work done by the HRU team to compile numbers of affected persons and look forward to further progress throughout the Territory.”
Meanwhile, Mr. Mathias expressed thanks and Ms. Callwood went on to describe how grateful they both were for the assistance as well as the generous spirit of all those involved. She added that they had a lot of help from the ministry and a great contractor and this partnership has contributed to the successful completion of the repairs to their home.
The team from the HRU celebrated the achievement of improved housing conditions for householders and looks forward to building on the achievements of the short-term programme to reach the longer term goal of resilient communities and sustainable development.
The home was one of 80 homes repaired by funding from the UK. The UK Government support for the short term Housing Recovery Programme came from the approximately $15M provided to the Territory throughout 2018 to support the implementation of critical recovery projects in close partnership with the ministries.
The UK also provided over $80M to the most effected Overseas Territories in the immediate aftermath of the 2017 hurricanes and has committed another $13M to assist the long term development of the Territory, alongside the £300M Loan Guarantee.