Members of Congress Urge Action on Puerto Rico and Virgin Islands Housing Recovery

A bipartisan group of senators sent a letter on December 22, 2017, to HUD and the government-sponsored entities (GSEs) Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, calling on them to extend the foreclosure moratorium for the U.S Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico set to expire in March 2018. Representative Nydia Velázquez (D-NY) released on January 16 her vision for a comprehensive recovery plan to help Puerto Rico recover from the 2017 hurricanes.

Senators Marco Rubio (R-FL), Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV), Bill Nelson (D-FL), and Robert Menendez (D-NJ) urged HUD and the GSEs to extend the foreclosure moratorium an additional year for victims of Hurricane Maria in the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico. The senators expressed concern that the foreclosure moratoriums could potentially expire before electricity and other services were fully restored. The moratoriums are set to expire on March 18 for HUD and March 31 for the GSEs.

Ms. Velázquez’s plan for Puerto Rico recovery includes five key principles: permanently address healthcare inequities, including addressing the Medicaid funding shortfall; rebuild a renewable, clean energy grid that withstands future hazards; invest in resilient homes and public buildings to reduce the loss of life and property from future disasters; provide Puerto Rico with tools to jumpstart the economy, including forgiving the territory’s debt and providing sufficient disaster funding; and improve fiscal transparency and accountability for all stakeholders involved in recovery.