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SENATOR BACKS HOUSING TENANTS' COMPLAINTS

Aug. 19, 2002 – Residents of a crumbling apartment building in a public housing community on St. Thomas say when it rains, it pours misery for them.
Concerns about the structural soundness of Building No. 6 in the Charlotte Amalie Apartments reached the point in late July that residents called Sen. Celestino R. White Sr., who chairs the Legislature's Committee on Housing Parks and Recreation. White went to see for himself, accompanied by aides who photographed a series of deep cracks in the outer walls of the building, which houses four apartments.
"When rain falls, some residents must hold their collective breaths for fear of water seeping through the walls," White subsequently wrote in a letter to Housing Parks and Recreation Commissioner Ira Hobson. "It is appalling that tenants must reside in such poor living conditions."
Most public housing in the territory is managed by the V.I. Housing Authority, but a few older, smaller complexes, such as the Charlotte Amalie Apartments, remain under the control of Housing Parks and Recreation. Had he known about conditions at the building earlier, White wrote Hobson, he would have raised the subject during the commissioner's appearance before the Senate Finance Committee on July 23.
White asked Hobson for a prompt response. But Anette Hendrickson, an aide in the senator's office, said that as of late last week, "we have not received a response." However, she said that through calls to residents of Building No. 6, she learned that a meeting of residents and Housing Parks and Recreation officials has been scheduled for this Wednesday.

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