HUD Awards $1.5 Billion to Puerto Rico and $243 Million to the Virgin Islands for Hurricane Recovery

HUD awarded more than $1.5 billion to Puerto Rico and $243 million to the U.S. Virgin Islands for long-term disaster recovery through the Community Development Block Grant – Disaster Recovery (CDBG-DR) program. These funds are from the first disaster aid supplemental passed as part of the September 8, 2017 continuing resolution. The act appropriated $7.4 billion in CDBG-DR to help areas affected by major disasters in calendar year 2017. Texas, Florida, and now Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands are still waiting for HUD to publish a Federal Register notice providing guidance regarding use of these funds. CDBG-DR grants can fund housing redevelopment, economic revitalization, and infrastructure repair. Once HUD issues the guidance, Texas, Florida, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands must draft for public review and comment their action plans detailing how a majority of their funds (typically 80%) will be awarded for specific activities to address recovery needs in their “most impacted and distressed” areas.