Minister without portfolio with responsibility for housing, Dr. Morais Guy says he will be engaged in talks with the Food For the Poor organization to see what kind of collaborations can be had in terms of assisting persons who lost their houses during the passage of Hurricane ‘Sandy’ recently. The Minister made the disclosure while on a tour of Portland recently, following the destruction wrought by Hurricane ‘Sandy’ to the parish.

The tour which took in areas such as Windsor Castle, Kildare, Buff Bay, Fruitful Vale, Chatswort, Rural Hill and Manchioneal saw the Minister, the Permanent Secretary, MP for East Portland, Dr. Lynvale Bloomfield and other officials from the Ministry of Transport, Works & Housing and the Housing Agency of Jamaica viewing damages and speaking with persons affected by the hurricane. Throughout the tour, the Minister was met with several instances of persons who lost their roofs or entire dwellings. This was particularly noticeable in Manchioneal where there were many cases of this.

While on the tour, Minister Guy participated in a handing over ceremony of $2M which will be used to assist persons whose houses have been damaged by the hurricane. The money is being made available by the Portland Co-op Credit Union whose Managing Director, Mr. Martin Blackwood says he was happy to be able to support the people of Portland in this their time of need. He says he is encouraging the recipients to use the funds to restore their lot to ‘pre Sandy’ days. A maximum amount of $30,000.00 will be made available to each affected credit union member to be used for repairs to dwellings as well as to assist farmers who lost crops and or livestock during the hurricane.

For his part, Dr. Guy declared that he was pleased for the contribution seeing it as a powerful symbol of private/public partnership. He thanked the Portland Co-op Credit Union for the gesture which he says is a ‘plus in the cause of national development’ He noted that following the tour, he would be making representation to Cabinet with a view to see how best the Government of Jamaica (G.O.J) can further assist the residents of Portland who were affected by the hurricane.