Virgin Islands Housing Finance Authority (VIHFA) officials broke ground Thursday on a 57-lot turnkey development in Estate Fortuna that will offer affordable homeownership opportunities to V.I. residents.
The subdivision called “Wild Pineapple” will be constructed in several phases. Phase I is infrastructure, which includes building concrete roads, drainage, retaining walls, underground utilities and lighting. The subdivision plan was completed by engineer Advanced Methods of Surveying, while contractor Grade-All Heavy Equipment is overseeing the infrastructure development.
“We anticipate the first homeowners moving in in 2022 and the full completion of construction in 2025,” VIHFA Executive Director Daryl Griffith said during a brief ceremony held on site. “The initial infrastructure will be built with local Stamp Tax funds and the homes will be built with Community Development Block Grant – Disaster Recovery (CDBG-DR) funds that can be used to fund construction of homes for first-time homebuyers. The clients for these single-family turn-key houses will work with the VIHFA’s Homeownership Division every step of the way, from first-time homebuyer education classes, credit and budget counseling if needed, grants, mortgage financing closing, all the way to move-in day.”
Along with aligning with the VIHFA’s mission to increase access to housing and community development opportunities, the Wild Pineapple project is also critical to the administration’s commitment to community investment, according to Governor Albert Bryan Jr.
“Homeownership is such a big part of what we want to get accomplished,” the governor said Thursday. “Our administration has dedicated over $200 million to homeowners and to building homes in our community.”
In the midst of a global health crisis, continued opportunities for economic development also offer a sense of hope, said VIHFA Board Chair Jenifer O’Neal.
“It is wonderful that we are able to move forward with this project even with the trying economic and operational challenges we’re facing locally and globally,” said O’Neal. “Projects such as these are the cornerstones upon which the VIHFA is built, and we are excited to see the plans for these 57 homes come to fruition—to see their construction and occupancy, and to see many more projects coming online in the near future.”
Virgin Islands residents interested in homeownership should contact VIHFA’s Homeownership Division at 777-4432.