Minister of Housing, Lands and Maintenance, Dr. William Duguid, has described the work to repair and rebuild the houses damaged during the passing of Hurricane Elsa as a “mammoth task”.
He was speaking this evening at the Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Centre during a press conference to update the country about the impact of the cyclone.
Dr. Duguid said 700 houses had roof problems and those that would require total rebuilding would be carried out by the National Housing Corporation (NHC) and the Urban and Rural Development Commissions, and this would get under way in 48 hours. He said the Commissions would carry out their work according to certain geographic locations.
He outlined the role that the NHC would be playing in the rebuilding process. “The National Housing Corporation will be doing the houses that are wall and wood, masonry and carpentry together. And those obviously will need a little more engineering works, and those are the ones that the National Housing Corporation will tend to…
“When we rebuild these houses, we will be very specific on focusing on using roof straps, and strapping the house to the foundation as well. Because I think a lot of the houses that we are seeing problems with, … both with the freak storm, and with the hurricane that just passed, a lot of houses did not have hurricanes straps, or those that may have had some type of hurricane straps did not also have the strapping from the foundation on to the house itself.”
The Housing Minister also encouraged those persons that could carry out repairs to their houses, if provided with the materials, to do so, and said the NHC would be the focal point for persons needing materials only.
Dr. Duguid called on the public to bear with the agencies as they undertook to carry out the minor and major repairs to the houses.
“It is a mammoth task; please work with us. Bear with us as we work through it. We’re collecting as much information as we can; getting as many of them assessed as possible. And we’re going to hit the ground running to get as many done, together with those from this storm and the freak storm before,” he urged.