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HUD Deputy Secretary Adrianne Todman Visits USVI to Meet With Governor Bryan

CHARLOTTE AMALIE — Making good on a promise she made during a virtual meeting last month with Governor Albert Bryan, Deputy Secretary of HUD Adrianne Todman visited the territory in her official capacity to tour some disaster recovery projects on St. Thomas.

During their hourlong meeting on Friday, Governor Bryan and the deputy secretary discussed a wide range of topics related to housing and disaster recovery issues in the Territory, including rebuilding the territory’s workforce following the COVID-19 pandemic; the re-emergence of Tourism and the return of cruise ships; the progress of rebuilding the schools; the need for more housing and related opportunities; issues regarding adequate building supplies and materials; and the USVI’s movement toward renewable energy sources.

Deputy Secretary Todman, who is a native of St. Thomas, also gave the governor an update on the federal reconciliation bill and Build Back Better Initiative making their way through Congressional negotiations. She said that while the amount remains unclear at this point, the prospects for additional funding requested by HUD are very positive, which would result in more federal funding for housing in the territory.

HUD Deputy Secretary Adrianne Todman Visits USVI to Meet With Governor Bryan

She and the governor also discussed the impact the Biden administration’s Infrastructure Bill might have on broadband accessibility, roads, homeownership and public housing preservation.

Governor Bryan also expressed his concerns about sustainable economic development and issues encountered as the Territory, and the country, deals with the continuing impact from the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as his efforts to revitalize the territory’s towns.

Deputy Secretary Todman said that because of her close ties to the USVI, which she visits frequently on a personal level, that the Bryan-Roach Administration will have beneficial opportunities for real engagement and representation in Washington, D.C. She also said she would be available within the scope of her role with HUD to assist the USVI in its dealings with other federal agencies.

Following her meeting with Governor Bryan, Deputy Secretary Todman was joined by Virgin Islands Housing Finance (VIHFA) Director Daryl Griffith and VIHFA Chief Disaster Recovery Officer Dayna Clendinen for site visits of the Magens Junction and Donoe affordable housing projects, as well as some private homes that were rebuilt as part of VIHFA’s EnVIsion Program.

By 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.