The Virgin Islands Housing Authority (VIHA) continues to do everything possible to ensure that the health, safety and well-being of its public housing residents, program participants and staff are not compromised during the COVID-19 pandemic. As a result, the following administrative controls and guidance for residents and leaseholders implemented on Tuesday, Aug. 3, will continue through Thursday, Sept. 30.
- All in-person contact with the public at VIHA facilities throughout the territory is suspended.
Other than routine service providers, visitors are prohibited from entering VIHA’s facilities, including VIHA’s central and management offices at our various properties on each island.
- Community Centers are closed to large-group gatherings/events.
- After-School Programs will continue to be suspended until further notice.
- All scheduled appointments for applicants and other clients will be rescheduled as necessary.
- Residents can continue to utilize the payment outlets within the banks that are currently in place. Rental payments can also be paid using a U. S. Postal Money Order and sent via U. S. Mail.
- Residents with rent statements that must be adjusted should contact the property manager in their respective community by telephone, email, and/or text message to obtain an updated statement. The new statement will be hand-delivered to their unit.
- Public housing residents and housing choice voucher participants who have experienced a loss of or decreased income must complete a “Change of Circumstances Form” to report their changed financial circumstances. This form can be found on VIHA’s website at www.vihousing.org. The completed form and supporting documents can be returned via email to firstname.lastname@example.org (for Low-income Public Housing) or email@example.com (for Housing Choice Voucher Program (Section 8)), U. S. Mail, or in-person at the end of the suspension period.
- The Virgin Islands Housing Authority will continue to make monthly rental payments to landlords for eligible participants of the HCVP. Landlords are strongly encouraged to visit http://www.vihousing.org/publicdocuments/HCVDirectDeposit to obtain the appropriate form to sign up for direct deposit or contact VIHA offices at 714-0174 on St. Thomas or 778-8442 on St. Croix for more information.
- For Housing Choice Voucher Participants, Housing Quality Standards (HQS) Inspections of occupied units will continue during this period. When you observe our HCVP inspectors wearing gloves, booties, and/or face masks; these are being worn simply as a precautionary measure and to help provide a degree of protection and reassurance for their lives and yours.
As always, the inspectors will clearly identify themselves before entering your unit. VIHA asks that if anyone in the apartment is sick, whether COVID related or not, please notify the authority prior to the inspection or before the inspector enters the apartment.
Please note that VIHA is respectfully requesting any individual(s) present during an inspection to wear a face mask for their protection from COVID-19 as well as protection for its employees.
- Please be reminded to contact the landlord immediately if you are experiencing any repair issues relative to your rental unit.
- All utility checks will continue to be mailed to residents.
- Staff at our public housing communities will continue to serve customers via phone and email and address all work orders as needed unless otherwise notified.
- To report public housing maintenance emergencies, residents should continue to call (305) 447-2464 and provide the following information: name of the housing community; building and apartment number; name of the person reporting the issue; contact telephone number; and description of the maintenance emergency.
- Residents and employees are encouraged to follow the recommendations of the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Virgin Islands Department of Health (DOH), the Virgin Islands Territorial Emergency Management Agency (VITEMA), and updates from the Virgin Islands Department of Human Services (DHS) and the Virgin Islands Department of Education (DOE).
VIHA will continue to monitor this situation closely and modify our plan accordingly. Furthermore, please listen to the guidance from healthcare professionals; wash hands frequently; wear gloves and a face mask when in public places.