March 29, 2006 — Acting in its role as landlord, the V.I. Port Authority is summoning residents of the Estate Bournefield housing community to an April 5 meeting to discuss residents' upcoming evictions.
Residents of Estate Bournefield, near the Cyril E. King Airport runway, are being given until August to leave their homes so the Port Authority can clear the area in preparation for construction of a new public school.
On March 22 Bournefield tenants appealed to members of the VIPA Board to hear their concerns (See "Bournefield Residents Frustrated By Unresponsive VIPA Board").
Representatives of housing and housing assistance agencies are expected to meet with residents to discuss relocation options.
Agencies expected to attend the April 5 meeting at the Port Authority Administration Building include the V.I. Housing Finance Authority, the Department of Housing, Parks, and Recreation and the V.I. Housing Authority. The meeting is currently scheduled for 6:30 p.m.
"What the executive director and the governing board are attempting to do is provide the tenants of the Bournefield unit with information about places where they can perhaps find their new residence," said Carol Henneman, public information specialist for the authority.
Henneman said participating agencies will take turns making presentations about the different housing programs they offer and also advise them about any assistance programs that may be available.
Frankie Hoheb, chief of staff for Sen. Celestino A. White Sr., said White wrote to Gov. Charles W. Turnbull asking him to compel the Port Authority to assist the tenants in their relocation efforts. "He still feels the Port Authority should be taking the lead in assisting them and not just letting them fend for themselves," said Hoheb.
Hoheb also said he and White will take part in the April 5 meeting and hope the contacts made between the residents and the housing agencies will lead to some tangible leads for new housing.
"We want to see something meaningful and not just to have these people put on a list with two thousand other people," Hoheb said.
Shortly after the March 22 VIPA board meeting where tenants expressed their concerns, White said some Bournefield residents — especially the elderly and disabled — were going to find it hard to relocate in the four months given to them by VIPA.
Share your reaction to this news with other Source readers. Please include headline, your name and city and state/country or island where you reside.