Affordable Housing on Gifft Hill Unveiled

April 21, 2005 – Reliance Housing Foundation will unveil the first dozen of its 72 Bellevue Village affordable housing units on Gifft Hill at an open house from 3 to 7 p.m. on May 7.
Work began in January 2004, with the official groundbreaking held on June 23, 2004. (See "Calabash Boom Project Gets Mixed Reception").
At the open house, sample homes and the community building will be open for tours. Additionally, the St. John Community Foundation will offer tours of its adjacent site where the organization plans to build and civic and cultural center.
According to a press release issued by Reliance Housing's president, Robert Jackson, the company received over 330 applications for homes at Bellevue Village. Those selected were chosen by a lottery. The applicants met federal maximum income guidelines, proved credit worthiness, had good references from previous landlords, and had no criminal background.
Occupancy is restricted to people whose income falls below 60 percent of the federal government's area median income guidelines. The area median income for St. John currently stands at $37,350. The maximum qualifying income is currently $22,860 for one person up to $43,080 for a household with eight people.
Rents range from $525 to $725 depending on size.
The units range in size from 700 square feet to 1,600 square feet. All have a balcony or terrace.
Jackson said that each apartment has ceramic tile on its floors, modern kitchens will a full complement of appliances and washer/dryer connections.
Clifford Graham, director of the V.I. Housing Finance Authority, said in the press release that federal low income tax credits financed more than 75 percent of the $20 million development cost.
When the tax credit package runs out in 15 years, the tenant on the upper floor of the two-unit buildings will be offered the chance to buy the entire building.

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