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Housing Finance Authority Working to Rejuvenate Frederiksted

Sept. 5, 2006 – – The V.I. Housing Finance Authority has joined with North Shore Partners in an effort to create new affordable housing in Frederiksted. Duplex homes are presently under construction on Queen Street and will soon be home to some very deserving families.
North Shore has been working with VIHFA for years to help provide affordable housing to those in need. "We have been working with the VIHFA since the late 1990s," said Sarah Graci of North Shore. The company also constructed the Mount Pleasant single-family home development located near Estate Paradise. The company bid for the new project in the West End town and was awarded the contract. The project is considered a "design build," which means that the construction company created the design themselves.
Graci said the homes are a part of the Frederiksted rejuvenation project and consist of eight two-story duplex units in four buildings. Construction is well under way in the area. "We plan to be completed by February," stated company foreman Louis Cagan.
The company has taken into consideration handicapped accessibility. Graci said one of the units is handicapped accessible and already has a tenant. "A longtime resident of Frederiksted is already in line for that unit," Graci said.
The VIHFA has two more projects like the one on Queen Street scheduled to begin construction soon. "We have sent out requests for proposals, and we are waiting for the bids," said Richard Bork, VIHFA construction manager. Bork said there is another project for bid in Frederiksted and one in Christiansted. A start date for those projects will be set once the negotiations have been completed, he said.
Energy efficiency is a big concern for VIHFA. The 1,333-square-foot duplexes are set to have compact florescent fixtures and Energy Star-rated equipment. "We ask our developers to buy florescent fixtures and teach our clients to buy energy-efficient appliances," explained Bork.
The authority is no stranger to energy-efficient homes. A solar concept home has been built, and the authority plans to construct four or five more. The unit, located in Estate Solitude, is equipped with a solar-powered water heater and solar-powered electricity. The proposed units will be 1,500 to 1,600 square feet with three bedrooms and two bathrooms.
To become a part of future projects such as these, contact VIHFA at 772-3180 for more information.
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