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N.S. housing minister to meet with federal government about disaster financial assistance


The Mennonite Disaster Service, a volunteer group, has been helping the United Way and residents in the Cape Breton Regional Municipality recover from post-tropical storm Fiona, but that help will end on Saturday.

“They made their best effort to educate homeowners to say that everything that's wet inside your home will grow mould if you don't gut it and dry out the home,” said Lynne McCarron, executive director of United Way Cape Breton.

McCarron says, with winter coming, people are more hesitant to do the proper renovations, and many can't afford them.

“So they're more likely to live in mould than they are to do the right thing,” she said.

The province has received more than 530 applications for the disaster financial assistance program, which are being processed, and more applications are still coming in.

“I think we've done extremely well so far, although I realize it hasn't moved fast enough for people, but by comparison, in Dorian, it hadn't been announced yet,” said John Lohr, Nova Scotia’s municipal affairs and housing minister.

Lohr says whatever financial means are needed will be sent out to those eligible for assistance through the program.

“It’s for uninsurable losses generally,” said Lohr.

He says it's unclear, at this point, how much of the $300-million fund announced by the federal government the province will receive for communities and organizations.

“We got the federal government to agree to a broader definition on tree removal. And I’ll be heading to Ottawa next week to talk to the federal government about EMO. There's always going to be issues and we know people are hurting out there and we're very concerned about them,” said Lohr.

Applications for the financial assistance program are open until Jan. 31. Top Stories

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