Puerto Rico Governor Ricardo Rosselló sent a letter and a 90-page plan to President Donald Trump on November 13, requesting $94.4 in additional disaster aid to help the island rebuild and recover from the devastation caused by Hurricanes Irma and Maria. Of that amount, Governor Roselló is seeking more than $46 billion in Community Development Block Grant-Disaster Recovery (CDBG-DR) funds, $31 billion of which would go to repairing or rebuilding the more than 472,000 housing units that were severely damaged or destroyed by the hurricanes.
The letter notes that Puerto Rico lost a substantial portion of its housing stock at a time when safe and decent housing was already in high demand and that families with low incomes or special needs have been particularly impacted. As a result, the letter states, “it is anticipated that temporary housing solutions for those affected by the hurricanes will be needed for months, or in some cases years. This produces a temporary recovery need for residents that includes rental assistance as well as repair and mitigation.” The letter suggests these programs will be operated by the Puerto Rican government, not through a partnership between HUD and FEMA.