Private sector employers are encouraged to import trailers to house work permit employees on a temporary basis during the accommodation shortage created by Hurricane Ivan.
The Cayman Islands Government took delivery last week of the first 28 of 84 trailers it will import for those displaced by the hurricane.
‘Some of the trailers are here and they are beautiful,’ said Joy Basdeo, who heads up the Temporary Housing Committee, at a press conference last week.
Those trailers will either be placed at three identified trailer communities or on the private land of individual home owners who had their houses destroyed by the storm.
The Government trailers are not only for Caymanians, but for foreign workers in essential services like police officers, teachers, doctors and nurses, Mrs. Basdeo said.
For other foreigners working here, their employers are responsible for ensuring they have a place to live. The Immigration Department has said it will be vigilant in verifying accommodations of work permit applicants.
With a current labour shortage in the Cayman Islands, particularly in certain industries needed in the hurricane recovery effort, many employers are having difficulty finding accommodations for their workers.
Trailers could be one option said Mrs. Basdeo.
‘The need is greater than indicated by the statistics,’ Mrs. Basdeo said of housing shortage.
The trailers could also be an option for other private individuals who are not successful in their application for one of the trailers that the Government is brining in.
Priority for the Government’s trailers will be given to single parents with children under 17, as well as to the elderly and infirmed.
Other trailers will be allocated under a priority needs basis.
The Government trailers are leased at a price of $500 per month.
Those living in the Government’s trailer communities will have to sign leases.
Initial leases will be for up to one year.
‘The lease will be renewable, but we will be giving no two-year leases,’ said Mrs Basdeo.
In order for private individuals or employers to import a trailer here, they must obtain a licence from the Financial Secretary’s office and provide a $2,000 bond, which is returned when the trailer is shipped off-island.
The Government has said it will allow the trailers to be here for a maximum of two years.
Mrs. Basdeo said last Friday that an ‘exit strategy’ for where the trailers will go after the two years is being developed.
The first 28 Government trailers that arrived can accommodate up to five people comfortably, Mrs. Basdeo said.
‘We’ve realised we need some larger trailers,’ she said, adding that the next order will include some that can accommodate more people.
Mrs. Basdeo said 126 applications had already been received for the Government trailers and that 93 of those applications had been processed.
Forty trailers have already been allocated she said.