Home News Local news $3.3M to V.I. for Community Programs

$3.3M to V.I. for Community Programs


Oct. 17, 2005 – The territory will get $3.3 million in U.S. Housing and Urban Development Department funds, the agency announced Friday.
"Today, we make another investment along with our local partners so that together we can breathe new life into our neighborhoods," HUD Secretary Alphonso Jackson said in a news release.
He said the program helps to generate economic development and job growth, produce more affordable housing and help vulnerable residents.
Laurence Joshua, who heads up the Community Development Block Grant program at the Planning and Natural Resources Department, said Monday that the money is for use in fiscal year 2006.
"But it will take another month or two to access it," he said.
Of that figure, $1.9 million is funneled through the Block Grant Program to the territory's agencies and departments as grants. Joshua said that the program provides about 32 block grants a year.
Another $1.2 million goes to the V.I. Housing Finance Authority in the form of the Home Investment Partnerships program. Housing Finance Authority director Clifford Graham said that the agency has a program to subsidize home ownership for residents who don't make enough money to afford the full price of a house.
"For example, a house is selling for $120,000, but they can only afford $90,000," he said
The program then pays the difference. Graham said this program helps about 50 to 100 people a year.
He said the program also pays to help people repair their homes if they are in substandard condition.
Graham said people learn about the programs through the grapevine or from their lending institutions.
And the territory will get $88,403 under the Emergency Shelter Grant. Joshua said this money goes to DPNR to assist homeless people as well as prevent them from becoming homeless.
He said that it pays for soup kitchens on St. Thomas and St. Croix, pays rent for a couple of months to prevent people from being evicted and provides financial counseling to help people better manage their money.

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