“To create vibrant, dynamic, sustainable communities so families can evolve economically, and to improve lives and strengthen communities through quality, safe and affordable housing and by providing a myriad of services to empower public housing residents.”
The Virgin Islands Housing Authority is empowered with the responsibility for planning, financing, constructing, maintaining and managing Public Housing Developments in the Territory. In an effort to improve overall functioning in the face of dwindling resources, VIHA embarked on a strategic planning process, which involves ALL employees. This process looks at our present state, Vision, Mission and Cultural Value Statements, and our strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats — along with where we are relative to our operations, customers and employees, and where we want to be in five (5) years.
The Mission builds upon VIHA’s Vision. It communicates the essence of our stakeholders and includes VIHA’s purpose statement, business statement and the values and beliefs held by our members. It is one guiding set of ideas articulated, understood and supported by our stakeholders, board, staff, volunteers, donors, clients and collaborators.
The birth of VIHA dates back to 1941, when the municipal councils of St. Thomas, St. John and St. Croix combined their municipal housing authorities into a single public housing corporation operating under the provisions of the U.S. Housing Act of 1937 and the Virgin Islands Code.
Known as the Virgin Islands Housing and Redevelopment Authority (VIHRA), the agency was given jurisdiction for the three islands. In 1962, the legislature renamed it the Virgin Islands Housing Authority (VIHA).
In those early years, there was no Civil Rights or Fair Housing Act, and the public housing of the day segregated people of little means from the community at large. One of the Territory’s first public housing developments, the original Louis E. Brown community on St. Croix, packed over 1,000 people in 436 units on an otherwise uncrowded island, isolating residents from other islanders and amenities.
Through the decades of the 20th Century, Housing authority leaders fought valiantly to achieve affordable housing for the Territory’s low- and middle-income families. This they did despite two major hurricanes, Hugo in 1989 and Marilyn in 1995, which badly damaged many public housing sites.
Their work was all the more laudable because they depended heavily on local government to finance the construction or rehabilitation of public housing. This meant convincing politicians to issue debt in the form of bonds to finance their projects, competing with many other needs.
Then as well as now, VIHA pioneered many exciting resident programs with a common aim: to enrich its residents through training and practical experience, and empower them to be active in their communities’ management and affairs.
The first decade of the 21st Century was a turbulent one for VIHA because of inconsistent leadership, ineffective financial operations and poor property management practices. Supported by HUD and a visionary board of directors, we emerged from that period with a high-performing voucher program, clean financial audits, the production of several hundred new affordable housing units and a redevelopment plan to replace 3,000 units of aging public housing inventory.”
Today, VIHA is able to fund the $1 billion transformation of its entire portfolio of public housing on St. Thomas and St. Croix because it has the credibility needed to raise unprecedented financial resources, and the leadership to attract best in class partners to get the job done.
Message from Executive Director
Welcome to The Virgin Islands Housing Authority’s official website. This website will be utilized as a platform to keep you, our visiting audience, abreast on the latest information, highlights, and achievements, occurring within VIHA. Collectively, our mission is and has always been, to improve the lives of our residents, by furnishing them with the services necessary to evolve economically; thus giving them the ability to succeed in becoming self-sustainable, while providing quality and affordable housing, throughout that
process. Within the past few years, the agency has fostered a number of efforts, in order to achieve our goal of becoming a top notch Public Housing Authority that exhibits nothing secondary to the highest degree set forth by our industry standards. We are pleased with the progressions that we have made thus far, in moving towards this goal, and will aggressively continue to strive forward. VIHA has displayed such efforts, by consistently demonstrating it’s ability to meet a number of milestones. As we continue in our pursuit of achieving the objectives set forth by ourselves, and The U.S Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), we look forward to sharing more of our successes with you.