VROMI Minister Chris Wever (left) inspecting a home being repaired.
PHILIPSBURG–Minister of Public Housing, Spatial Planning, Environment and Infrastructure VROMI Christopher Wever recently paid a visit to several homes that are being repaired as part of a pilot private home repair programme.
The pilot programme has 40 candidates, 14 requiring major repairs and 26 needing work classified as minor repairs.
While Wever said he is pleased with the work being done in this project, he was very critical of the conditions of many others in St. Maarten and stressed that more people need to be assisted.
“I am concerned with the miniscule number of homeowners being actually helped. The goal must be to restore all homes and assist as many people as possible, but at this rate it will be five years before we can actually see all the homes in the communities in St. Maarten fully restored,” said Wever.
Wever said he will be meeting with representatives of the World Bank and the National Recovery Programme Bureau (NRPB) to “impress upon them” that more people must be urgently added to the programme for private home repairs. “We simply must do what we can to make this Christmas a Merry Christmas for the many people who have not had a good Christmas with their families since their homes were destroyed by hurricane over two years ago,” said Wever.
According to him, more home repairs mean increased economic development. He said that this should not be overlooked.
“The reality is that many homes are still in disrepair post- [Hurricane – Ed.] Irma and access to the resources that were intended to bring relief is still lagging,” said Wever in a press release.
He is worried that, based on the length of time it has taken for the people to receive assistance, many “may have given up hope.”
“It is not easy for a government with limited resources to provide the much-needed assistance. I am aware of that, but we must also realise that, as difficult as it is for us to manage with limited resources, there are people out there who do not have any support at all and are suffering,” concluded Wever.
Source: The Daily Herald https://www.thedailyherald.sx/islands/92389-wever-worried-not-enough-homes-are-being-repaired