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Nearly Half of Applicants for Uninsured Rebuild Assistance Didn’t Qualify

Fort McMurray, AB, Canada / MIX 103.7
Nearly Half of Applicants for Uninsured Rebuild Assistance Didn't Qualify

Construction in Wood Buffalo, Spring 2017 // Harvard Broadcasting Jaryn Vecchio

The wait continues for some people looking to rebuild with insurance issues.

NSUUR, a group made up of different NGO’s, has been trying to help these individuals and families rebuild.

Coordinator Idil Jeilani tells Mix News 147 people have applied for the program with 53 looking for a full rebuild while 29 need house repairs.

However, she says the rest of the applicants didn’t qualify.

“That could be anything from a revenue property, a rental, a condo, things that we’re not able to support.”

Back in September, the organization met with the Wood Buffalo Recovery Committee explaining to them they believed there could be as many as 300 families needing help.

The low numbers are leaving some people “confused” and “surprised.”

“Some of it has to do with just dealing with the trauma of losing everything, taking a long time to sort out what steps they want to take next, some of it has to do with making decisions about whether they wish to rebuild in Fort McMurray,” said Glen Kauffman, Mennonite Disaster Services Alberta Unit Chair.

MDS is one of many groups in NSUUR including Habitat for Humanity, Mennonite Disaster, World Renew, Samaritan’s Purse and Fuse Social.

Kauffman notes the original expectation of 300 families did include people who no longer qualify, adding he does expect to see the number of approved applicants rise.

“We’re over a year down the road and at this point, it’s very difficult to predict.”

Meanwhile, MDS, through the NSUUR program, has already brought in three ready to move in homes. Two are in Beacon Hill while the third is in Abasand.

Over the next few weeks, volunteers from MDS will be adding decks, hooking up utilities before handing the keys over to the homeowners before the end of summer.

Kauffman notes these homes will most likely be the only ones MDS will work on in 2017.