One of the houses

Two Pointe Michel residents, who were affected by Hurricane Maria, have received new houses courtesy of the Government of Dominica.

They are the first two, of a total of ten, who received the keys to their new homes built by the Sustainable Housing Foundation Limited of Barbados.

MP for the area, Denise Charles, expressed her delight that people from her constituency who were affected by Hurricane Maria and were displaced were getting help from the government.

“I am indeed elated that two out of ten homeowners shall receive their keys today. What an achievement from a government who cares for the ordinary man having no bias for red, blue, green or yellow. What matters to us is the safety and well being of our citizens,” she said.

Safiya Caprice and Elizabeth Pascal received their keys at a handing over ceremony held on Friday 13 April 2018.

Prime Minister Skerrit said the moment was a significant one.

“We have not only built back, but we have built back better, strong and from all assessments and projections, we have constructed homes that have the capacity to withstand most of what nature and the elements would normally throw our way, we have done it in rapid time. To God be the Glory great things he has done,” he said.

According to Skerrit, of the 1,000 homes air marked for construction under the project, another 60 was air marked for the Soufriere constituency.

He also disclosed that the Kalinago Territory will also receive the highest number of houses since the area was the hardest hit.

Director of Sustainable Housing Foundation, Mark Maloney who was in charge of spearheading the project, describes it as “a tall order to achieve.”

“What you are all seeing here, taking into account the logistics, terrain, a lack of resources during this rebuilding period, which has its own natural challenges when embarking on such projects,” stated.

He expressed gratitude to all of the artisans, companies and government agencies “who have worked tirelessly and assiduously to achieve the desired results and to recognize their efforts for the speed with which they became accustomed to the processes that are used with the precast system building”.

Maloney said this is especially commendable in light of the fact that all of the workers also had to deal with their own challenges in respect to their homes and losses, “notwithstanding all of the emotional challenges that were likely associated with this”.

The houses, he explained, are designed to withstand high seismic and wind conditions in excess of category 5 hurricanes, such as Hurricane Maria.

“The homes have concrete roofs, however what is different about the roofs is that it diffuses the heat, so that inside of the homes will be a lot cooler than what would be standard with a normal concrete home,” he said. “As you enter your homes, you will experience that the difference in temperature is far lower than what is in a conventional home with a concrete or wooden roof and you will be amazed at how cool inside is.”

Maloney added that all the homes were outfitted with finishes, fixtures and fittings that can be customized depending on each homeowners face.

“So for those potential homeowners that may not like a particular tile or color, be assured that there are options available to suit individual preferences,” Maloney added.

The function was also attended by President of Dominica Charles Savarin and his wife along with villages from the community.

One of the houses receive a blessing