Young- Different assessment methods for flood relief grants

The Ministry of Social Development has changed its methodology of assessing persons for flood relief grants, National Security Minister Stuart Young has said.

Young said the Ministry will now apply “more common sense” to the methodology, bearing in mind that not everyone is expected to keep their flood damaged furniture and appliances.

Regional Corporations had been advising persons waiting to be assessed for Government grants, not to get rid of their damaged belongings until they were assessed.

“In discussions with the Minister of Social Development they have changed the methodology of accessing because we recognise that, especially in places like Greenvale and other associated areas, we don’t expect people to keep their appliances. And they (Ministry) are developing different tests like looking at the water level marks. In the Greenvale area we know that practically everybody at a certain water level would have suffered loss,” Young said during Tuesday’s joint media conference to update the nation on ongoing flood relief efforts.

He said while the methodology has changed, the quantum of the grants will remain the same, so affected residents in Greenvale will still receive a $15,000 grant.

“It is not an increase in grants for anyone. There is not going to be any discrimination in grants for any specific area. The grant level remains as is. But in the Greenvale area, anyone who’s been on the ground there would know that you can state as a fact without fear of contradiction that up to a certain level (were affected). So all single storey homes, all two storey homes you saw in every single home where the water level reached above counter height, so it will affect all appliances…the washing machines, the stoves, the fridges,” he explained.

“So it is easy in an area like that, that is actually a blocked off area, to say this is where the water level reached, so you know anybody below that water level has suffered loss and damage,” he added.

On Monday, Social Development Minister Cherrie-Ann Crichlow-Cockburn said distribution of grants will begin before the end of this week.

She said the Housing Development Corporation (HDC) will be responsible for the $15,000 house repair grants for persons within its affected developments; Oropune, La Horquetta and Greenvale.

Crichlow-Cockburn added that the Ministry of Housing and Self Help will deal with grants for other affected areas, while the Ministry of Social Development would be responsible for grants for the replacement of household appliances, furniture and sanitary plumbing.

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