Frequently Asked Questions

Community Development Block Grant

In order to be eligible for funding, a project must include one or more of the activities listed below:

  • Acquisition of real property in conjunction with an eligible use such as development of a community facility;
  • Construction, reconstruction, rehabilitation, or installation of public facilities and improvements;
  • Clearance, demolition, and removal of buildings and improvements;
  • Provision of public services (including labor, supplies and materials) directed toward improving the community\'s living environment, including but not limited to those public services and facilities concerned with employment, crime prevention, child care, health, drug abuse treatment or prevention, education, fair housing counseling, energy conservation or recreation needs;
  • Repair of streets, sidewalks, parks, playgrounds, publicly-owned utilities and public facilities, special garbage, trash and debris removal in areas exhibiting signs of physical deterioration or in order to eliminate emergency conditions;
  • Removal of architectural barriers;
  • Acquisition, construction, reconstruction, rehabilitation or installation of the distribution lines and facilities of privately owned utilities;
  • Rehabilitation of privately owned buildings for residential purposes, improvements to the exterior of commercial or industrial buildings or the rehabilitation, preservation or restoration of historic properties;
  • Acquisition, construction, reconstruction, rehabilitation or installation of commercial or industrial buildings, structures or the provision of assistance for for-profit businesses;
  • Planning, survey, or development of architectural plans in conjunction with an eligible project such as construction, reconstruction, rehabilitation, or installation of public facilities and improvements or repair of streets, sidewalks, parks, playgrounds, publicly-owned utilities

Registered non-profit or faith-based organizations in good standing and also governmental entities can apply. The applicant must have a Tax Identification Number (TIN). A Dun & Bradstreet registration number (DUNS#) is also required. (Instructions for requesting the DUNS # is included with the CDBG application). 

Interested parties must submit a formal application using the form supplied by CDBG. The application process is conducted once a year. Applications are typically made available at VIHFA’s offices on St. Thomas and St. Croix in early January. Notices are published in the local newspapers and electronic media announcing the availability of applications. Typically, applications are generally due in mid-February. Applications must be submitted by the due date stated on the application in order to be considered for funding. 

The program does not have a set maximum that can be applied for; however, applicants should keep in mind that the Territory receives an annual allocation of approximately $1.9 Million of which 20% (approximately $380,000) is used by VIHFA for the administration of the program leaving approximately $1.5 Million available to be awarded for projects. In addition, VI law requires that the project funds be divided equally between St. Thomas/St. John and St. Croix – which means that the total funds available for award in each district is generally $760,000.

No; however, it would be beneficial if the organization’s has previously carried out a similar activity prior to seeking CDBG funds because demonstrated management capability and experience are included among the factors considered during evaluation of the project proposals. 

It takes approximately nine (9) months before funds become available. Once applications have been submitted, they are first reviewed by CDBG staff. Public hearings are then conducted in accordance with the citizen participation process mandated by HUD. Upon completion of the public hearings, CDBG staff completes the evaluation process and selects projects to be recommended for funding. VI law requires that the Legislature approves the projects recommended for funding; this is done in the form of a bill that is moved from Committee of the Whole then to a vote by the full body and ratification by the Governor. The approved projects are then included in an Annual Action Plan document which is required to be submitted to HUD by August 16. Once HUD has notified the Territory that the Action Plan has been approved (HUD’s notification generally occurs by mid-November), CDBG staff begins the final steps that must be accomplished prior to authorization to start your program. Note: No costs may be incurred before the execution of the funding agreement and issuance of a formal Notice to Proceed by CDBG.

Missed Mortgage Payments

Foreclosure may occur.  This is the legal means that your lender can use to take over your home.  When this happens, you must move out of your house.  If your property is worth less than the total amount you owe on your mortgage loan, a deficiency judgment could be pursued.  If that happens, you can not only lose your home, you also would owe the lender an additional amount.

Do not ignore the letters from you lender.  If you are having problems making your payments, call or write your lender without delay.  Explain your situation.  Be prepared to provide them with monthly income and expenses.

  • Stay in your home for now.  You may not qualify for assistance if you abandon your property.
  • Contact our agency for housing counseling.  We will be able to help you with credit counseling and provide any information you may need.  

Special Forbearance: Your lender may be able to arrange a repayment plan based on your financial situation and may even provide for a temporary reduction or suspension of your payments. You may qualify for this if you have recently experienced a reduction in income or an increase in living expenses.  You must furnish information to your lender to show that you would be able to meet the requirements of the new payment plan.

Mortgage Modification:  You may be able to refinance the debt and/or extend the term of your mortgage loan.  This may help you catch up by reducing the monthly payments to a more affordable level.  You may qualify if you have recovered from a financial problem and can afford the new payment amount.

Partial Claim: Your lender maybe able to work with you to obtain a one-time payment from the FHA-Insurance fund to bring your mortgage current.

You may qualify if:

  • Your loan is at least 4 months delinquent but no more than 12 months delinquent.
  • You are able to begin making full mortgage payments.

When your lender files a Partial Claim, VIHFA will pay your lender the amount necessary to bring your mortgage current.  You must execute a Promissory Note, and a Lien will be placed on your property until the Promissory Note is paid in full.  The Promissory Note is interest-free and is due when you pay off the first mortgage or when you sell the property.

Pre-foreclosure sale:  This will allow you to avoid foreclosure by selling your property for an amount less than the amount necessary to pay off your mortgage loan.

You may qualify if:

  • The loan is as least 2 months delinquent.
  • You are able to sell your house within 3 to 5 months.
  • A new appraisal shows that the value of your home meets program guidelines.

Deed-in-lieu foreclosure:  As a last resort, you may be able to voluntarily give back your property to the lender.  This won’t save your house, but it is not as damaging to your credit rating as a foreclosure.

You may qualify if:

  • You are in default and don’t qualify for any of the other options.
  • Your attempt at selling the house before foreclosure were unsuccessful. 
  • You don't have another VIHFA mortgage in default.

Your lender will determine if you qualify for any of the alternatives.  A housing counselor can also help you determine which, if any, of these options may meet your needs and also assist you in interacting with your lender.  Call or visit any of our offices.

Yes. Beware of scams! Solutions that sound too simple or too good to be true usually are. If you’re selling your home without professional guidance, beware of buyers who try to rush you through the process.  Unfortunately, there are people who may try to take advantage of your financial difficulty.  Be especially alert to the following:

Equity skimming: In this type of scam, a “buyer” approaches you, offering to get you out of financial trouble by promising to pay off your mortgage or give you a sum of money when the property is sold.  The “buyer” may suggest that you move out quickly and deed the property to him or her.  The “buyer” then collects rent for a time, does not make any mortgage payments, and allows the lender to foreclosure.  Remember, signing over your deed to someone else does not necessarily relieve you of your obligation on your loan.

Phony counseling agencies:  Some groups calling themselves “counseling agencies” may approach you and offer to perform certain services for a fee.  These could well be services you could do for yourself for free, such as negotiating a new payment plan with your lender, or pursuing a pre-foreclosure sale.  If you have any doubt about paying for such services, call one of our offices.  Do this before you pay anyone or sign anything.

  • Here are several precautions that should help you avoid being “taken” by a scam artist:
  • Don’t sign any papers you don't fully understand.
  • Make sure you get all “promise” in writing.
  • Beware of any contract of sale or loan assumptions where you are not formally released from liability for your mortgage debt.
  • Check with a lawyer or your mortgage company before entering any deals involving your home.
  • If you’re selling the house yourself to avoid foreclosure, check to see if there are any complaints against the prospective buyer.  You can contact the court for this type of information.
  • Don’t lose your home and damage your credit history.
  • Call or write your mortgage lender immediately and be honest about your financial situation.
  • Stay in your home to make sure you qualify for assistance.
  • Arrange an appointment with us to explore your options.
  • Cooperate with the counselor or lender.
  • Explore every alternatives to keep your home.
  • Beware of scams.
  • Do not sign anything you don’t understand.  And remember that signing over the deed to someone else does not necessarily relieve you of your loan obligation.