After many months of delay, HUD Secretary Ben Carson formally announced a grant agreement with Puerto Rico on January 16, making an additional $8.285 billion in Community Development Block Grant mitigation (CDBG-DR) funds available to Puerto Rico. At the same time, HUD released an advance version of a Federal Register notice detailing conditions Puerto Rico must meet in order to access the CBDG Disaster Mitigation funds. (CDBG-MIT)
The NLIHC-led Disaster Housing Recovery Coalition (DHRC) of more than 850 local, state, and national disaster recovery organizations celebrate this victory with the people of Puerto Rico and stand ready to further advocate for recovery and resiliency strategies that benefit all Puerto Ricans. The fight to release this funding began almost two years ago when Congress approved more than $16 billion in recovery and mitigation funds to both assist Puerto Rico in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria and improve the resiliency of the island. The DHRC, through its Puerto Rico Working Group, has continued to push for the release of the funds, even in the face of the administration’s broke promises and ignored deadlines. DHRC members issued numerous press releases, statements, and interviews throughout this period, working to both educate the public about the hardship and frustration caused by this delay of funding and to press for release of the funds.
The potential release of these funds could not have been accomplished without our allies in Congress including, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY), Senators Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Robert Menendez (D-NJ), and Representatives Jenniffer González-Colón (PR), Nydia Velazquez (D-NY), Natural Resources Committee Chair Raul Grijalva (D-AZ), and Chair David Price (D-NC) of the Appropriation Committee’s Subcommittee on Transportation, Housing and Urban Development.
As both mitigation and recovery dollars move forward, The DHRC will continue to work with our partners to ensure that this recovery and mitigation funding is used in an effective, accountable, and transparent manner.
The advance version of the Federal Register notice is at: https://bit.ly/3ajAM9d
The media release announcing the conclusion of the grant agreement is at: https://bit.ly/362otL2