This past November, despite COVID-19 combined with the aftermath of two back-to-back Category 5 hurricanes, the Virgin Islands Housing Finance Authority (VIHFA), USVI Governor Albert Bryan Jr., and officials from Jackson Development Company (JDC) cut the ribbon and celebrated the completion of Magens Junction Apartments, Phase II on St. Thomas.
The VIHFA and JDC were joined by a host of government officials, contractor representatives, and community members to commemorate the conclusion of Phase II. Phase II was the latest project completed in VIHFA's Public and Affordable Housing portfolio funded by $3.9 million of Community Development Block Grant – Disaster Recovery (CDBG-DR) funds and $30.4 million in Low-Income Housing Tax Credit equity.
The Magens Junction Apartments houses 60-units with modern amenities such as a community room, fitness center, and library. This 9-story building is income- and rent-restricted in compliance with the federal low-income housing tax credit program and Community Development Block Grant - Disaster Recovery funding.
The JDC has partnered with Lutheran Social Services to not only reserve ten percent of the units for individuals with disabilities but house residents from Tutu Housing Community, destroyed in the 2017 hurricanes, and individuals on the Housing Choice waiting list.
With an affordable housing shortage in the U.S. Virgin Islands, especially on St. Thomas, the grand opening of Magens Junction II gave Virgin Islanders something to celebrate.
Governor Albert Bryan Jr. stated, "It takes a lot of work to get the funding moving for projects like this one that is almost 100% financed by assets from the VIHFA, and we are all thrilled to see it come to fruition. But all of that pales in comparison to the joy of being able to turn over keys to residents and welcome them to their new home. We make sure we get it right – clean, spacious, modern, and energy-efficient apartment living for another 60 families here in our territory."
Phase I, adjacent to the new building, was completed in 2018, and construction for Phase II began in 2019. With the completion of all three buildings, this community now offers housing to 108 families.