Disaster Reconstruction Authority (DRA) Executive Chairman Alex Storr said yesterday that at least 800 homes have been identified for a variety of repairs on Abaco and Grand Bahama.
“We have those that we met in the system when we came, as well as additional persons who have applied since we relaunched the new program, so it’s going to be in the hundreds. I think it could be anywhere between 400 and 600 (homes on Abaco),” Storr said.
When asked how many homes are in need of repairs on Grand Bahama, he replied, “I’d say it’s in the same area that we’re looking at for Abaco.”
The DRA launched a homeowners assistance relief program (HARP) in September for people on Abaco and Grand Bahama affected by Hurricane Dorian in 2019.
HARP replaced the small homes repair program which also offered assistance to residents on those islands who were trying to rebuild homes devastated by the Category 5 storm.
Storr said the budget for the program is about $2 million.
He said the government adds more money “as needed”.
Storr said 17 houses in East Grand Bahama are undergoing repairs.
“They began repairing houses about two weeks ago,” he said.
“They’re continuing and we’re going to ramp it up a bit, so that we can start from the west and come down. We are hoping to start in Abaco if not this week, then next week. We are just in the process of hiring the workers.”
Storr said there are 10 workers assisting with repairs.
He said another two workers are expected to join the team soon.
“As we can add persons onto the work crews, we will begin to expand,” Storr said.
“For the major work crews, we’re going to look at outsourcing those to contractors. That’s for the rebuilds and major repairs but, right now, for the minor repairs, we have our work crews and we are continuously adding to those work crews.