PHILIPSBURG – Nervous anticipation, gratitude and joy, these were the emotions in the air as homeowners gathered at National Recovery Program Bureau on Monday, June 17th to sign their agreements. Financed by the Trust Fund, the home repair program of the NPRB has approximately 200 homes scheduled for repairs in the coming year. Works contracts, are broken down into lots and begin in stages.
One of the beneficiaries of the program is Mr. Ashley Arrindell, an eighty-four-year-old former carpenter, mason and steelworker from St. Peters. Mr. Arrindell, who built his home himself with the help of friends in the early 70’s, was in his home when it was destroyed by Hurricane Irma. “I watched my roof fly away and land on the car of my downstairs tenant.” Mr. Ashley stated. “I’ve lived downstairs since then and would be very grateful to have my own space again.”
Contractor on the project, Mr. Roberto Arrindell of Confidence Constructions BV, is eager to begin the repair works. “As a local Sint Maartener, it gives me great pride to be a part of the recovery process of building back better after the Hurricane. Without this project many of the homeowners would not have been able to afford the necessary repairs. I can’t wait to hand them back the keys to their completed homes at the end of construction.”
Each homeowner in the program has fulfilled the eligibility criteria set forth by the Government of Sint Maarten and their home has been technically assessment by an engineer to determine the necessary repairs. During the period of reconstruction, home owners are compensated to cover the costs of temporary housing and storage of their belongings. They are not allowed to stay in their homes while it is under repair.
Expected works include repairs to the roofs, windows, doors and minor electrical works,“I would like to especially thank the homeowners for their patience during this process,” Claret Connor, Director of the NRPB expressed as he addressed the first set of beneficiaries on Monday. “As a country we have been given a very generous gift by the people of the Netherlands. We have taken the time to ensure that all foreseeable aspects of the project have been taken care of. We will do it once, and we will do it right”.
The Sint Maarten Recovery, Reconstruction and Resilience Trust Fund is financed by the Government of the Netherlands, managed by the World Bank and implemented by the National Recovery Program Bureau on behalf of the Government of Sint Maarten.