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Wednesday, September 23, 2020
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Housing Finance Authority: $19 Million Spent of Nearly $2 Billion Recovery Grant

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 Family Resource Center on St Thomas is one of the agencies providing assistance for victims of domestic violence and sex-related crimes. (Source photo by Bethaney Lee)

Grant Applicants Pitch Proposals for Community Development Projects

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.

HUD Provides Grants for Health Hazard Studies

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.
The drawing in the Urban Land Institute’s report on recommendations for rebuilding St. Thomas shows some of consultant’s suggestions for changes to the “study area” in and near downtown Charlotte Amalie.

Disaster Funds Could Enable Island Makeover; So, How Should It Look?

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.

FEMA Approves $69 Million to Begin Replacement of Tutu Hi-Rise Apartments

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.
Photo taken in September shows hurricane damaged property on St. John. Monday is the deadline to apply for an SBA loan for help recover from the disaster.

A Federal Disaster Monitor Appears for the V.I.; Leaders Seek Further Information

U.S. Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson announced the appointment of Robert Crouch to oversee disaster recovery grants administration.
U.S. Capitol

HUD Allocates Territory Another $53.59 Million

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.

Bryan Prioritizes Disaster Recovery, Medicaid Funding During Washington Visit

The expansion of Medicaid and funding for the ongoing recovery effort was the focus of Gov. Albert Bryan Jr.’s first day of meetings on Capitol Hill Tuesday, as Bryan and key members of his senior staff met with Delegate to Congress Stacey Plaskett and officials from the Departments of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and Health and Human Services (HHS).

New HUD Guidelines Bring Delayed Block Grants Closer

The U.S.Department of Housing and Urban Development has published its guidelines for the dispersal of $774.1 million in Community Development Block Grant funding for mitigation activities in the Virgin Islands.
George Hendricks stands outside his Whim home. Two years after Hurricane Maria took off his roof, blue tarp still covers the house. (Source photo by Wyndi Ambrose)

Remnants of Irma and Maria: Two Years Later, Blue Roofs Still Abound

Blue tarps are meant to last anywhere between 30 days and six months and yet, two years after Hurricane Maria, they still cover the homes of many of the territory’s residents in dire need of permanent roof repairs.

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