HUD Deputy Secretary Pamela Hughes Patenaude, Governor Kenneth E. Mapp and Robert Graham, VI Housing Authority Executive Director, discuss the relocation of tenants and review plans for the demolition of Tutu High Rise.

 

The U.S. Virgin Islands will receive $242.7 million from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to assist in its recovery efforts. The HUD Community Development Block Grant-Disaster Recovery Program award was announced by HUD’s Deputy Secretary Pamela Hughes Patenaude, who joined Governor Kenneth E. Mapp at a news conference on Friday.

“I hope this will help to address the seriousness of the housing needs, as we discussed, and the (USVI’s) economic development needs,” Patenaude told Governor Mapp. “I believe under your leadership that we are going to see an amazing renaissance.”

The Governor expressed gratitude on behalf of the people of the Virgin Islands.

“Thank you, the Trump Administration, and all of our federal partners for their support,” Governor Mapp said. “These dollars will hasten the delivery of homes and communities for displaced individuals.”

After a meeting to discuss updates to the Territory’s recovery efforts and projected redevelopment plans, Governor Mapp, Virgin Islands Housing Authority Executive Director Robert Graham and Virgin Islands Housing Finance Authority Acting Executive Director and CFO Daryl Griffith accompanied Deputy Secretary Patenaude and a delegation from HUD to tour some of St. Thomas’ housing communities, including the devastated homes at the Tutu High Rise site.

They viewed damaged units and heard plans for demolition, rebuilding and the relocation of families. Governor Mapp said the Tutu community was slated for demolition in a matter of months. The delegation also briefly visited the Sugar Estate Senior Center and Whispering Hills Homes.

“Just days after the storms, (and) particularly with the issues we were facing in Tutu, United States Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Ben Carson made a substantial amount of monetary resources available for the relocation of these residents,” Governor Kenneth Mapp said. “We are immensely grateful that HUD is helping to support the long-term recovery underway in the USVI and look forward to working closely with them as we rebuild smarter and stronger.”