§ Lord Morris of Manchester
asked Her Majesty's Government:
Whether they will review the housing strategy for Montserrat to cater for the 1,600 people still awaiting permanent housing. [HL3451]
§ The Secretary of State for International Development (Baroness Amos)
Very substantial progress has been made with housing on Montserrat since the volcanic crisis. Currently, all except five persons (who are refusing shelter) are housed. DfID has funded over 1,000 dwelling units at a cost of £19.25 million through various schemes, such as direct build, materials grants, sheltered housing, institutional housing and soft mortgages.
A final phase of DfID assistance for housing those who stayed on Montserrat during the crisis, making a further £10 million available, has been agreed. While there are some on the Government of Montserrat's housing register who want better housing, the priority focus (agreed with the Government) is on improving the housing situation of the most vulnerable and needy.
The Montserrat Government's current housing register shows about 350 resident households, or approximately 700 people, seeking help with permanent housing in the northern 'safe' zone. The programme of assistance currently in place will reduce this to nil households.