Washington, DC – HUD’s failure to release critical disaster mitigation funds for Puerto Rico by the statutory deadline set by Congress – September 4 – is yet another example of this administration’s callous disregard for the lives of U.S. citizens. The NLIHC-led Disaster Housing Recovery Coalition of more than 800 local, state, and national organizations calls on Congress to hold the Trump administration accountable for continuing to withhold from Puerto Rico badly-needed and Congressionally-approved recovery funds.
Congress approved $16.5 billion in mitigation funding for Puerto Rico and other disaster-impacted states in February 2018. Because of delays, Congress directed HUD to release these mitigation funds within 90 days. More than eighteen months after Congress first approved these dollars, HUD has now missed that deadline and continues to give no indication when the agency plans on releasing these overdue funds.
“Hurricane Dorian’s recent near-miss of Puerto Rico underscores the importance of this mitigation funding,” stated Diane Yentel, president and CEO of the National Low Income Housing Coalition. “The Trump administration’s continued efforts to withhold mitigation funds is directly interfering with Puerto Rico’s ability to prepare for future storms as they continue their recovery from the 2017 hurricane season.”
About DHRC: NLIHC led coalition of more than 800 national, state, and local organizations, including many working directly with disaster-impacted communities and with first-hand experience recovering after disasters.