Guam- Senator Tina Muna Barnes and Vice Speaker BJ Cruz have introduced a measure to rehabilitate abandoned Department of Education (DOE) staff housing units under the Guam Housing and Urban Renewal Authority (GHURA).
The Vice Speaker says Bill 235 will help the homeless population of Guam by converting 46 abandoned housing units into affordable homes through a combination of federal programs. The abandoned homes are located in Agat, Talofofo, Dededo, Yigo and Merizo. Cruz adds this bill is important to him because the latest survey results state a majority of Guam’s homeless population are local people, with more young children being recorded as well. He says it’s imperative to figure out the cost to rehabilitate these old GHURA units as soon as possible.
“I’m more concerned about making sure that we use these” said Cruz. “They may no longer qualify for GHRUA for one reason or another but they’ve been disqualified. Maybe if we have it and the government is handling it without having to do the federal regulations, we can get some of these people back into homes cause I can’t sit quietly knowing that children are living in the streets.”
Cruz adds the funding would come from multiple sources, including grants and money from the Guam Housing Corporation. He also mentions the bill is one way to address recent housing symposium concerns of Guam being short 6 thousand units over the next few years.