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Charlotte Amalie
Wednesday, July 24, 2024


Sen. George Goodwin plans to lobby federal officials for funding to revitalize public housing in the territory while he is attending the 6th annual White House Community Empowerment Conference in Columbus, Ohio, this week.
The gathering is a forum for representatives of "empowerment zones" and "enterprise communities" to "share in valuable lessons and participate in a series of working group sessions," Goodwin stated in a press release.
He said he would seek support of a pending application from the V.I. Housing Authority for federal Housing and Urban Development funds to revitalize the Louis E. Brown Homes on St. Croix. V.I.H.A. is seeking a grant under HUD's HOPE – for Housing Opportunities for People Everywhere – program. Begun in 1993, the program was conceived to provide revitalization and demolition grants with the goal of eradicating "severely distressed public housing" in the nation by the year 2000.
The Housing Authority's fiscal year 1999 application for similar funding was turned down, Goodwin noted, and the HOPE program, the nation's largest public housing improvement initiative, will end in fiscal year 2001.
The senator said he would also seek support "to strategically plan and implement ideas for the territory's enterprise communities."
On the conference agenda, according to the release, are forums with public- and private-sector representation addressing such topics as bringing about change in corporate investment and fostering safer, healthier neighborhoods. Goodwin said the Virgin Islands must "find strategic ways to highlight both federal and private-sector resources, tools and programs that are available to help our communities initiate innovative programs and projects that promote revitalization efforts in the territory's enterprise zones."

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