|HUD No. 11-272
November 18, 2011
HUD ASSISTANT SECRETARY HENRIQUEZ, GOVERNOR DE JONGH CUT RIBBON TO OPEN NEW AFFORDABLE HOUSING ON ST. CROIX
VI Housing Authority first affordable housing development in 20 years
ST.CROIX (U.S. Virgin Islands) - U.S.Department of Housing & Urban Development (HUD) Assistant Secretary Sandra B. Henriquez and U.S.Virgin Islands Governor John de Jongh Jr. today opened the new Louis E. Brown public housing development, replacing the aging development that suffered from multiple hurricanes over the years. The new Louis E. Brown Villas is the Virgin Islands Housing Authority's first affordable housing development in 20 years.
"Cutting this ribbon today marks a new beginning for the residents and the surrounding community," said Henriquez. "The Louis E. Brown redevelopment is kick-starting the local economy, creating hundreds of construction jobs, and providing a new community that St. Croix families will be able to call home."
Joining Henriquez and the Governor today were Lieutenant Governor Gregory R. Francis; members of the U.S. Virgin Islands 29th Legislature, including Senator Celestino White of the Legislature's Housing Committee; HUD-appointed Board Chair KimberlyWize; and Virgin Islands Housing Authority Executive (VIHA) Director Robert Graham.
The 102 new units opened today are the first part of a three-phase redevelopment plan that will ultimately create 244 one- to three-bedroom units for families and seniors. The developer, Carlisle Development Group, included "green" features to conserve power and water which will significantly lower utility costs for residents. These power-saving features include solar thermal water heaters, energy efficient appliances, and rainfall cistern. The new community will also include a community room, library, pedestrian walkways, laundry facility, exercise room, computer lab, recreational area and a playground.
This project generated approximately $32 million worth of investment to the community, including 120 construction jobs for Cruzans. More than a third (37 percent) of all new hires are low- or very-low income neighborhood residents, and 89 percent are minority and women-owned businesses subcontractors. All of the housing will be available to local residents earning 60 percent of the area median income or less, which is $18,660 or less on St. Croix. The redevelopment is being financed with Low-Income Housing Tax Credits from the V.I. Housing Finance Authority, along with funds from HUD.
Founded in 1998, Carlisle Development Group (http://carlisledevelopmentgroup.com/) is one of the largest tax-credit developers in the U.S. With more than 80 projects representing $1.4 billion in total development costs, Carlisle's portfolio of assets includes LEED-certified, mixed-use, transit-oriented, urban infill, historic rehabilitation, as well as mixed-income and market-rate housing developments.
Hurricanes Hugo and Marilyn destroyed most of the 436 units on the 24-acre site. VIHA demolished the damaged units to redevelop the housing. HUD took over the agency in 2003 and brought on Robert Graham as the executive director in 2008.
HUD's mission is to create strong, sustainable, inclusive communities and quality affordable homes for all. HUD is working to strengthen the housing market to bolster the economy and protect consumers; meet the need for quality affordable rental homes: utilize housing as a platform for improving quality of life; build inclusive and sustainable communities free from discrimination; and transform the way HUD does business. More information about HUD and its programs is available on the Internet at www.hud.gov and http://espanol.hud.gov. You can also follow HUD on twitter @HUDgov, on facebook at www.facebook.com/HUD, or sign up for news alerts on HUD's News Listserv.