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Puerto Rico granted federal community development funds after hurricane

By on October 16, 2017

SAN JUAN – Puerto Rico Resident Commissioner Jenniffer González has announced the allocation of $44.1 million in federal community development funds from several programs managed by the U.S. Housing and Urban Development Department’s (HUD) Office of Community Planning and Development.

“In these times of greatest need for the island, the injection of these millions in funds directly to the municipalities will help mitigate part of the damages. This initial allocation comes about less than a month after the hurricane. I will continue working to get more funds,” the resident commissioner said.

Resident Commissioner Jennifer González (Juan J. Rodríguez/CB)

The municipality of Aguadilla will receive $1.1 million from two federal programs: $798,000 under the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) and $220,000 from the HOME Investment Partnerships Program (HOME). The block grant assigns $614,000 for the municipality of Guayama, $614,000 to San Sebastián, and $493,000 to San Germán.

The Puerto Rico Office for Socioeconomic and Community Development (ODSEC by its Spanish initials) will receive $41.2 million in federal funding under several programs, including $23.1 million from the block grant for the island’s 51 municipalities with fewer than 50,000 residents.

Municipalities with more than 50,000 people can receive the funds directly from the federal Housing Department. Also, ODSEC will be assigned $5.7 million under the Emergency Solutions Grant Program (ESG), $9.6 million under HOME, $2 million under the Housing Opportunities for Persons With AIDS (HOPWA) Program, and $883,160 from the Housing Trust Fund.

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The CDBG program allocates annual subsidies to states and local government entities to develop urban communities, providing housing and expanding economic opportunities for people with low to middle incomes.

The ESG program, meanwhile, assigns annual subsidies to state, local and private entities to help people regain stability in permanent housing after experiencing a housing crisis or homelessness.

In addition to speedy recovery and the prevention of homelessness, the ESG also distributed limited funds to improve the quality and number of emergency shelters for people without a residence.

Meanwhile, the HOME program helps expand the supply of affordable housing to families with low incomes by allocating subsidies to state and local governments to finance housing programs.

In addition, the Housing Trust Fund is a new affordable-housing production program that will complement existing federal, state and local efforts to increase and preserve supplies of affordable housing for extremely low- and very low-income households, including homeless families.

Lastly, HOPWA is the federal program dedicated to the housing needs of people living with HIV/AIDS. Under it, HUD makes grants to local communities, states, and nonprofit organizations for projects that benefit low-income people living with HIV/AIDS and their families.

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