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HUD Gives $6M To Virgin Islands For Repairs To Public Housing

WASHINGTON – U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julián Castro announced Friday that HUD is allocating more than $1.8 billion to public housing authorities in all 50 states, as well as the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico.

From that allocation, $5,983,706 will go to the Virgin Islands Housing Authority (VIHA) to make needed capital improvements to their properties. Puerto Rico has been awarded $104.8 million to make similar repairs for its public housing properties. From the same allotment, $10.6 million will go to the Hawaii Public Housing Authority and the Guam Housing & Urban Renewal Authority.

The grants are provided through HUD’s Capital Fund Program, which offers annual funding to approximately 3,100 public housing authorities to build, repair, renovate and/or modernize the public housing in their communities.

These housing authorities use the funding to complete large-scale improvements such as replacing roofs or making energy-efficient upgrades to replace old plumbing and electrical systems.

For more than 75 years, the federal government has been investing billions of dollars in developing and maintaining public housing.

There has been, however, a net loss of over 135,000 public housing units since fiscal year 2000, representing an average loss of approximately 9,000 units annually.

In 2011, HUD released Capital Needs in the Public Housing Program, a third-party independent study that estimated the capital needs in the public housing stock in the United States.

The study found the nation’s 1.1 million public housing units are facing an estimated $25.6 billion in large-scale repairs.

robert graham CROP

   VIHA’s Robert Graham

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The Author

John McCarthy

John McCarthy

John McCarthy is primarily known for his investigative reporting on the U.S. Virgin Islands. A series of reports beginning in the 1990's revealed that there was everything from coliform bacteria to Cryptosporidium in locally-bottled St. Croix drinking water, according to a then-unpublished University of the Virgin Islands sampling. Another report, following Hurricane Hugo in 1989, cited a Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) confidential overview that said that over 40 percent of the U.S. Virgin Islands public lives below the poverty line. The Virgin Islands Free Press is the only Caribbean news source to regularly incorporate the findings of U.S. Freedom of Information Act requests. John's articles have appeared in the BVI Beacon, St. Croix Avis, San Juan Star and Virgin Islands Daily News. He is the former news director of WSVI-TV Channel 8 on St. Croix.

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