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Friday, November 17 2017 @ 03:32 PM AST

No help with paperwork for Trinidad & Tobago flood victims

Earlier this week, another minister said Trinidad and Tobago is under CODE ORANGE which means the population should expect continued heavy rains and flash flooding. The following is verbatim from the Hansard of the Trinidad and Tobago Parliament, June 23, 2017:

Tropical Storm Bret (Housing Repair Grants)

Dr. Roodal Moonilal (Oropouche East): Thank you very much. To the Minister of Housing and Urban Development: Could the Minister indicate what emergency actions have been taken to expedite the provision of housing repair grants to citizens badly affect by Tropical Storm Bret?

The Minister of Housing and Urban Development Hon. Randall Mitchell (right):
Thank you, Madam Speaker. Madam Speaker, the relevant grant available to the public in these emergency situations is the Emergency Shelter Relief Grant. This grant is given to members of the public, applicants, to conduct emergency repairs to housing units.
Madam Speaker, in the wake of Tropical Storm Bret, the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Housing and Urban Development, wrote to the Ministry of Finance requesting the urgent release of the balance of its allocation under the emergency shelter relief fund. The unit responsible for processing these applications stands ready to expedite all Emergency Shelter Relief Grant applications as fast as is practical.

Dr. Moonilal: So could the Minister of Housing and Urban Development then confirm that at this time you have no money for these emergency grants?

Hon. R. Mitchell: Madam Speaker, as a responsible Government, the usual process is that supporting documents be attached to the request for the relief of funds, and when that is done, the releases are then given to the Ministry by the Ministry of Finance.

Dr. Moonilal: Thank you very much. Would the Minister agree that a better approach would be to send your Ministry’s staff through the regional corporations to assist residents with filling out their forms for these repair grants, rather than asking marooned residents and flooded people to write you a letter and request?

Hon. R. Mitchell: Madam Speaker, I would not agree with that. There must be some sort of accountability in the whole process. In their application, they must attach supporting evidence to indicate that they have suffered some sort of damage that would require emergency fund grant relief.

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