122 still in temporary trailer homes

Nearly four years after Hurricane Ivan, there are still more than 100 people living in the trailer homes the government brought to Grand Cayman to house displaced residents on a temporary basis.

Leader of Government Business Kurt Tibbetts gave the information in response to a Parliamentary Question asked by backbench MLA Osbourne Bodden.

‘The official number of persons currently living in the Government trailer homes is 122,’ he said. ‘Currently 44 trailers are occupied island-wide.’

Mr. Tibbetts said 53 people were living in 18 trailers on the site near Fairbanks Prison; 38 people were living in 13 trailers in Bodden Town; 18 people were living in six trailers in West Bay; and 13 people were living in seven trailers on various privately-owned sites.

Originally brought to the island in early 2005, the 84 trailers were supposed to leave the island within two years. One trailer was destroyed by fire in 2006. The decision was taken last year to keep the remaining trailers here and store them as they were vacated.

Mr. Tibbetts said those residents still occupying the trailers were invited to apply for one of the four available options being offered by the National Housing Development Trust for home ownership. However, he conceded that some of the occupants required financial assistance above and beyond what the NHDT offers.

Once all of the trailer homes are vacated, they will be stored on an in-land site in the Eastern District, Mr. Tibbetts said.

‘It is not the view of anyone that these trailers should be sent off island,’ he said, noting that there could be a need for them again in the future.

‘We don’t know how long they will last once in storage,’ he said. ‘We’ll just have to see.’

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