(CMR) The Cayman Islands Government (CIG) announced Tuesday, 22 August, that it has committed over CI$2,100,000 to assist with housing repairs, including for homeowners not eligible for the current Housing Repairs Assistance.
“I was happy to call a special Caucus meeting today to consider a second Housing Repairs Program. Keeping Caymanian families safe, secure, and comfortable in their homes is a priority of our administration. This approval reflects our commitment to that priority,” said Acting Premier Hon. Juliana O’Connor-Connolly.
“We are determined to assist Caymanian families who would not otherwise be able to afford the necessary repairs to maintain a dry, healthy, safe, and liveable environment for them and their families. I am grateful for Cabinet’s approval of an additional CI$550,000 to expand the existing Housing Repairs Assistance (HRA) program,” said Hon Andre Ebanks, Minister responsible for Investment, Innovation and Social Development (MIISD).
The first program is under the MIISD, and it provides housing repairs assistance to Caymanians who are financially supported by Government and are either elderly or disabled or who have children that are in need (as per S.19 of the Children Act (2012 Revision)). Since May 2021, the MIISD HRA program, in partnership with the R3 Foundation, has repaired 88 homes in Grand Cayman.
The second housing repairs initiative is being administered by the National Housing and Development Trust (NHDT) as an entity with the ability to conduct home repairs where referrals are beyond the scope of the HRA program. The second housing repairs initiative will complement the efforts of the existing MIISD HRA program and allow additional persons to receive much-needed assistance.
“As a Government, we believe that having a dry and safe home is critical to the well-being of our Caymanian families. In addition to authorizing the NHDT to utilize up to CI$1,100,000 of their budget for home repairs, today we also approved an additional CI$500,000 for a total of CI$1,600,000,” said Hon Jay Ebanks, Minister responsible for Planning, Agriculture, Housing and Infrastructure.
NHDT will collaborate with the Housing Repair (HRA) Program along with the Ministry of Social Development concerning housing repair across Grand Cayman; the Sister Islands have their own existing repair program under the Ministry of District Administration.
To maximize combined efforts, NHDT will focus primarily on housing repair cases where applicants are ineligible for HRA assistance; this means the household is not deemed as “indigent” according to the Needs Assessment Criteria, the estimated amount, if the complexity of repairs is beyond the HRA remit, or if the applicant‘s home is insured, but the homeowner cannot afford the deductible.
“This money will enable the most vulnerable Caymanian families to make their households safe and secure. On behalf of the many families who will benefit from this injection of funds, I thank my elected colleagues for giving this matter the urgency, attention and compassion it deserved,” said Acting O’Connor -Connolly.