The V.I. Housing Finance Authority broke ground Thursday on a 57-lot turnkey development in Estate Fortuna on St. Thomas which will offer affordable home ownership opportunities to local residents.
The subdivision, called Wild Pineapple, is anticipated to welcome its first homeowners by 2022, with full completion by 2025, according to VIHFA Executive Director Daryl Griffith.
During a groundbreaking ceremony, Griffith said the initial infrastructure will be built with local Stamp Tax funds and the homes will be built with Community Development Block Grant for Disaster Recovery 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 home buyer education classes, credit and budget counseling if needed, grants, mortgage financing closing, all the way to move-in day,” he said.
The subdivision will be constructed in several phases. Phase 1 involves infrastructure, which includes building concrete roads, drainage, retaining walls and 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.
Gov. Albert Bryan Jr., attending the ceremony, said 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.
“Home ownership is such a big part of what we want to get accomplished,” he said. “Our administration has dedicated over $200 million to homeowners and to building homes in our community.”
V.I. Office of Management and Budget Director and VIHFA Board Chair Jenifer O’Neal said in the midst of a global health crisis, continued opportunities for economic development also offer a sense of hope.
Virgin Islands residents interested in home ownership should contact VIHFA’s Homeownership Division at 340-777-4432.