With Virgin Islands Housing Finance Authority (VIHFA) Executive Director Daryl Griffith stepping down from his position Tuesday, February 15, Chief Disaster Recovery Officer Dayna Clendinen was announced as the agency’s Interim Executive Director.
“On behalf of the entire VIHFA team, we thank Director Griffith for his years of dedication and service and wish him success and congratulations on the next steps in his professional journey,” Interim Executive Director Clendinen shared. “When I joined VIHFA, I was excited for the opportunity to collaborate closely with Director Griffith in helping to rebuild our territory, and I am excited now to be able to continue this transformational work.”
The Virgin Islands Housing Finance Authority has undergone a major burst of growth during Director Griffith’s tenure, spurred in large part by the addition of almost $2 billion in Community Development Block Grant – Disaster Recovery monies being added to the Authority’s management portfolio. Even with the addition of these funds, the agency has not lost focus on its purpose and mission. Earlier this month, in a series of meetings with Housing & Urban Development officials in Washington, D.C., VIHFA reiterated its commitment to fixing internal processes and staff training to ensure that the territory maximizes the use of its federal dollars and improves the speed at which those funds are disbursed, driving the successful completion of the dozens of programs in progress.
At the top of the priority list are: improving efficiency within the Emergency Rental Assistance Program by building capacity and integrating additional technology for processing; making a push under the Envision Tomorrow Homeownership and Rental Programs to clear the backlog of applications in the pipeline and help existing clients complete the process; and finding new opportunities for homeownership, including a “Buy a Lot, Build a Home” initiative that would dedicate money toward development.
“VIHFA remains committed to its original mission of unlocking the door to affordable housing in the territory. But, we are also driven to expand that mission by dedicating ourselves to seeing through to successful completion all of the Disaster Recovery programs begun within the last few years. The road ahead is very bright for the Virgin Islands Housing Finance Authority and the VIHFA team and I am excited to continue this critical work for the people of the territory,” Interim Executive Director Clendinen said.