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HomeNewsArchivesBrief: DeJongh Submits Proposals to Separate Housing from Parks and Recreation

Brief: DeJongh Submits Proposals to Separate Housing from Parks and Recreation

May 25, 2007 — As promised in his State of the Territory address, Gov. John deJongh Jr. has proposed legislation that would place the housing responsibilities of the current Department of Housing, Parks and Recreation within the Housing Finance Authority (VIHFA) and devote a government agency solely to developing sports and recreational programs. A release from Government House Friday said the move would insure that V.I. residents could enjoy leisure activities in safe and attractive facilities. In addition, under deJongh's proposal, the new Sports, Parks and Recreation Department would work to augment current efforts of the Tourism Department in the arena of sports tourism and the Department of Planning and Natural Resources in the areas of parks and beaches.
In a May 23 transmittal letter to Senate President Usie Richards, deJongh wrote that the VIHFA has a proven track record of success in providing housing opportunities for residents of the Virgin Islands. As providing adequate housing remains a key focus for the administration, it is required that VIHFA have the additional opportunities to assist the people of the Virgin Islands in this most crucial of areas. Additionally, deJongh said in his letter, "again based on VIHFA’s proven abilities and the role that housing plays in the Virgin Islands' overall development, this bill transfers the Community Development Block Grant responsibilities from the Planning and Natural Resources Department to the VIHFA.”
DeJongh acknowledged that the measure does not address the concerns of those presently living in communities under the auspices of the V.I. Housing Authority, which continues under federal receivership. But deJongh cautioned the 27th Legislature that “this measure will not compromise my efforts to bring some relief to the residents of those communities.”
In the past deJongh has been clear about his opposition to federal management of V.I. agencies.
In the legislation creating the Department of Sports, Parks and Recreation, deJongh said the restructured agency would also have responsibility for “maintaining and improving our parks to provide avenues of outdoor activities which are required for residents to enjoy healthy lifestyles.” The new department would also be responsible for working alongside the Education Department to provide after-school programs for young people and would work with the Health Department to assist in “raising the consciousness of our residents regarding the importance of exercise to maintaining one’s health.”
DeJongh asked for the Senate’s prompt consideration of the two proposed bills.

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May 25, 2007 -- As promised in his State of the Territory address, Gov. John deJongh Jr. has proposed legislation that would place the housing responsibilities of the current Department of Housing, Parks and Recreation within the Housing Finance Authority (VIHFA) and devote a government agency solely to developing sports and recreational programs. A release from Government House Friday said the move would insure that V.I. residents could enjoy leisure activities in safe and attractive facilities. In addition, under deJongh's proposal, the new Sports, Parks and Recreation Department would work to augment current efforts of the Tourism Department in the arena of sports tourism and the Department of Planning and Natural Resources in the areas of parks and beaches.
In a May 23 transmittal letter to Senate President Usie Richards, deJongh wrote that the VIHFA has a proven track record of success in providing housing opportunities for residents of the Virgin Islands. As providing adequate housing remains a key focus for the administration, it is required that VIHFA have the additional opportunities to assist the people of the Virgin Islands in this most crucial of areas. Additionally, deJongh said in his letter, "again based on VIHFA’s proven abilities and the role that housing plays in the Virgin Islands' overall development, this bill transfers the Community Development Block Grant responsibilities from the Planning and Natural Resources Department to the VIHFA.”
DeJongh acknowledged that the measure does not address the concerns of those presently living in communities under the auspices of the V.I. Housing Authority, which continues under federal receivership. But deJongh cautioned the 27th Legislature that “this measure will not compromise my efforts to bring some relief to the residents of those communities.”
In the past deJongh has been clear about his opposition to federal management of V.I. agencies.
In the legislation creating the Department of Sports, Parks and Recreation, deJongh said the restructured agency would also have responsibility for “maintaining and improving our parks to provide avenues of outdoor activities which are required for residents to enjoy healthy lifestyles.” The new department would also be responsible for working alongside the Education Department to provide after-school programs for young people and would work with the Health Department to assist in “raising the consciousness of our residents regarding the importance of exercise to maintaining one’s health.”
DeJongh asked for the Senate’s prompt consideration of the two proposed bills.