Gov’t to assume responsibility for paying evacuees’ rent
Montgomery Daniel, Deputy Prime Minister
March 1, 2022
Gov’t to assume responsibility for paying evacuees’ rent

YESTERDAY, FEBRUARY 28 marked the last day that the Red Cross will make rent payments for persons who were displaced by the volcanic eruptions who are still in private homes.

But Deputy Prime Minister, Montgomery Daniel has given a guarantee that the government will assume responsibility for making the rental payments for those persons who are still unable to return home due to the damage caused to their homes from the explosive eruptions.

The Ministry of Tourism, department of Social Development and the Red Cross were three entities footing the bill for families who were moved to different shelter arrangements once the schools were no longer used as shelters in 2021 in preparation for the resumption of face to face classes.

Speaking on NBC radio on February 23, Daniel explained that the tourism ministry covered payments for a number of families staying at hotels and guest houses while the Red Cross and Social Development Division paid rental costs for families in private homes.

“…As time progressed, a number of persons started going back to their homes and tourism has already concluded their payments basically at the hotels and at the guest houses,” he said.

“And quite recently, Red Cross, they would’ve signalled that they too, that they would not be able to continue the payments for these rents in these private homes and so at the end of this month, the rent being paid by Red Cross comes to an end.”

Daniel continued: “however, at the Cabinet it was agreed and approved that social development will continue to take care of the rental bills beyond the month of February”.

Repairs are ongoing for homes that were damaged as a result of the volcanic eruption.

The minister, who has responsibility for Transport and Works, assured that the Roads, Buildings and General Services Authority (BRAGSA) will continue to do repairs on all houses with varying levels of damage in the hopes of completing these works by the end of March so that persons can return home.

“The expectation is that at the end of March, the 27 houses now being built, that they will be occupied then and that the 24 units being made available, that too will be occupied,” he said.

Daniel also gave the assurance that, “if in the event that all of these families are still not accommodated in their homes, work will continue to repair these houses so that the individuals who are still not in their homes, that the ministry of social development will continue to pay the rent for wherever these individuals are renting at this time”.

Daniel urged families to visit the Ministry of Social Development to ensure that they have been identified to have work carried out on their homes.