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Friday, September 30, 2022


Gov. Charles W. Turnbull has bought more time for the 16 families living at the Estate Ross emergency housing units after he ordered the postponement of the scheduled June 11 eviction date.
On May 12 and 13, residents received eviction notices informing them that they were to vacate the units.
Turnbull's decision, which will enable residents to stay at Estate Ross until after the hurricane season, was made after a Friday meeting with the Housing Task Force.
The task force was established in 1998 to organize the relocation of families displaced by Hurricane Marilyn.
Those who lost their homes were initially transferred to a temporary emergency shelter in Estate Nazareth. Funded by the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the shelter was initially intended to serve as an 18-month emergency home that provided residents with free utilities, laundry services and housing.
After funds ran dry – upkeep costs were estimated to come in around $15,000 a month – 30 families were transitioned into private housing and are receiving rental assistance.
Tenants pay 20 percent and the government will continue to pick up the remaining 80 percent until June 30, said Housing, Parks and Recreation Commissioner Ira Hobson. The remaining 16 families who were listed as being dependent on public assistance and food stamps, were transferred to Estate Ross shelter where they live for free.
Hobson has cited the shortage of affordable housing in the territory as a primary barrier to finding homes for Estate Ross residents and others who fall under the low-income category. He said he is working to secure federal funds to make home ownership a reality for those who would otherwise be unable to afford it.
Turnbull said that the recent extension would be the last granted to Estate Ross residents. In the meantime, the Housing Task Force is working to seek alternative housing for the families.

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