The United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has accepted and approved the Virgin Islands Housing Finance Authority’s (VIHFA) Community Development Block Grant – Disaster Recovery (CDBG-DR) Action Plan Substantial Amendment No. 2.
The significant change in Amendment No. 2 is the introduction of $53 million in Tranche 2A for unmet needs in the Infrastructure program. Tranche 2A funds will support the Local Match program, in which the VIHFA, through sub-recipient agreements, will pay the Government of the Virgin Island’s portion of cost-share agreements it has for Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) projects.
The amendment also moves $120 million into the housing sector to provide more funding opportunities in the Homeowner Rehabilitation and Reconstruction, New Housing and Infrastructure Construction, and Public and Affordable Housing programs.
In addition, under Amendment No. 2, the Supportive Housing and Sheltering Program becomes a newly established sector titled, Public Services and Facilities—removing it from under Housing. The new sector will fund public services and the rehabilitation, reconstruction or new construction of public facilities with a total of $37.5 million.
The amendment further includes the language of the approved low and moderate-income data waiver Housing and Urban Development (HUD) grant the territory in September. The waiver allows the territory to use the HUD-established area median income (AMI) for St. John (which is the highest) for all three islands wherever grants programs require the application of AMI. The 2020 area median income for St. John is $65,000; St. Croix, $53,900; and St. Thomas, $60,500.
Per HUD guidelines, any funding changes greater than 1 percent of the total disaster recovery allocation or any change in the designated beneficiaries of a program constitutes a substantial amendment and must be made available for review by the public and approved by HUD. The CDBG-DR Action Plan Amendment No. 2 was out for public comment Sept. 3 – Oct. 3.
English and Spanish translations of the full-text Action Plan Amendment No. 2 and summary can be found at https://cdbgdr.vihfa.gov/library/action-plan/