A joint project between the Public Entity of Saba and the National Government under the auspices of the Ministry of Social Affairs and Labor aims to assist seniors on fixed incomes by providing aid for vital repairs to their home. The project is part of the goal of the Executive Council to continue to find initiatives that can help alleviate poverty among the elderly and persons with low income on the island. This specific program can provide an amount of up to $5000 in labor and material assistance for home repairs.
The project was a request from the Executive Council to State Secretary Jetta Klijnsma during her visit to the island in July last year. During her visit, Mrs. Klijnsma, along with the Executive Council, visited a few homes of persons with low incomes to get a first-hand look at the issues that confront them on a regular basis. Those persons lamented on how difficult it is to maintain their homes with such little means.
The program will supplement the Public Assistance Regulation of the Island Government which already provides an amount of up to one thousand dollars for persons who can prove that they are in need of assistance to execute repairs at their home. Commissioner of Social Affairs, Bruce Zagers said, “It is known that since the constitutional transition people are having a hard time. Through this combined effort of the Ministry of Social Affairs and the Public Entity, at least this sector can get some much needed assistance.”
This additional funding from the ministry provides a maximum of $5000 so that more extensive repairs can be done for those who need it. The idea behind the program is to focus on imminent repairs such as damaged roofs, spouts and storm shutters rather than structural issues. This is a one-time grant from ministry and will be available until the end of August 2014. Persons who have already submitted applications will be given preference and it is on a first come- first serve basis.
In order to get assistance through this program, persons should contact Head of Public Works, Russell Thielman to submit an application. The department will then do an assessment of the project to determine the costs.