On February 1, HUD’s Office of Community Planning and Development (CPD) announced two partial approvals of Puerto Rico Department of Housing’s “Action Plan,” which the department developed to govern the recovery and reconstruction of the island. As a result, HUD will provide Puerto Rico access to an additional $1.3 billion in Community Development Block Grant Mitigation (CDBG-MIT) funds and remove restrictions on another $4.9 billion. These funds are part of a $20 billion federal relief package that was authorized by Congress for Puerto Rico’s recovery from the devastation of Hurricane Maria in 2017. The slow disbursement of funds, with only about $100 million of the $20 billion spent after more than three years, has dramatically hindered the island’s disaster recovery process. These CDBG-MIT funds are crucial to support mitigation efforts, build resilient communities and create a culture of preparedness to withstand the impact of our changing climate.
CPD and Puerto Rico’s Department of Housing have agreed on revising specific elements of the Action Plan, which will enable Puerto Rico to work with HUD on removing restrictions that were imposed on the island’s disaster recovery and mitigation allocations by the Trump Administration, in order to access the remaining $4.9 billion in CDBG-MIT funds.
Enterprise applauds the administration’s commitment to addressing Puerto Rico’s urgent unmet needs and recommends the federal government continue to devote its attention to getting the recovery on track. Read more in our new playbook: Making Homes Places of Pride, Power and Belonging: Enterprise’s Policy Priorities for 2021.