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The Virgin Islands Housing Finance Authority needs the public’s input on a wide-ranging $774 million plan to harden the territory against disasters.
The demolition of the Tutu Hi-Rise buildings on St. Thomas and the distribution of federal CARES packages to households, were two imminent projects highlighted by the V.I. Housing Authority Board of Commissioners at a Wednesday meeting.
The V.I. Housing Finance Authority is seeking the public’s assistance in deciding how to spend $1 billion of recovery money.
Virgin Islands Housing Finance Authority Executive Director Daryl Griffith told senators on Wednesday that "recovery is a marathon," as he relayed “the incredible amount of bureaucracy” that goes into managing and spending nearly $2 billion in disaster grant funding.
The Virgin Islands Housing Finance Authority conducted its first virtual meeting to hear from St. Thomas applicants for the 2020 Community Development Block Grant funded by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.
As much as $2 million is available for the Lead Technical Studies grant program, which seeks to mitigate paint hazards in homes, and $5 million for the Healthy Homes Technical Studies grant program, which examines the links between housing and health.
A stateside consultant group has issued suggestions for remaking St. Thomas and the greater Virgin Islands from top to bottom. Recommendations run the gamut, from establishing bike lanes and promoting scooter traffic to creating new government agencies.
The V.I. government and V.I. Housing Authority received a $69 million obligation from the Federal Emergency Management Agency to fund the demolition and replacement of residential buildings at the Tutu Hi-Rise housing community, according to Government House.
U.S. Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson announced the appointment of Robert Crouch to oversee disaster recovery grants administration.
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development allocated more than $2.3 billion Tuesday to support the long-term disaster recovery process in hard hit areas in 15 states and four territories. According to HUD, the U.S. Virgin Islands is getting $53.59 million of that, bringing HUD’s total USVI allocated funds to $1.92 billion.
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