Samoa's Evan victims embrace Govt help
Survivors of Cyclone Evan have welcomed the Government’s $5million housing assistance to rebuild homes ravaged by the category 3 Cyclone.
Announced last week by the Minister of Finance, Faumuina Tiatia Liuga, the $5million is part of a $24million facility made available through the Samoa Housing Corporation (SHC) and the Development Bank of Samoa (DBS) for families and the business community.
The assistance will be given in the form of a loan. After a grace period of 12 months, the interest rate will be three per cent. Families can apply for up to $30,000 worth of help.
Silivelia Asiata, of Lelata, welcomes the assistance.
“I think it is a great idea and I fully support it,” she said. “It has come at a time when a lot of families who have lost their homes and their belongings during the cyclone are feeling discouraged and despair.”
Mrs. Asiata, who is 68-years-old, said she was unlikely to apply for a loan. Although her home was damaged by the cyclone and the flash-flooding, she said her 13 children living in New Zealand, Hawaii and the United States of America have already started to help them.
“My husband and I are old and we rely on our children living overseas to provide for us financially.”
So far, Mrs. Asiata is extremely grateful for all the assistance they’ve received. She said someone donated them a stove and they also received free food from Frankie’s. Asked if they plan to move, she said no.
“My husband and I do not want to move as we are settled where we are.We do not want to be a burden to our children.”
Another resident of Lelata, Siona Semau, shared the same sentiments.
“This three percent interest rate is useful for those who have houses that have been badly affected and need assistance especially families that are struggling.”
But Eneliko Smith, 46,of Fa’atoia said the Government shouldn't charge an interest rate on the assistance given.
He estimated that the cost of damage to his property would be between $60,000 and $100,000.
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