The Federal Emergency Management Agency has awarded more than $412 million in Public Assistance grants for Hurricane María recovery in Puerto Rico, the agency announced.
The funds cover expenses for emergency protective measures, debris removal and for the Sheltering and Temporary Essential Power Pilot Program.
To date, the FEMA Public Assistance program has obligated nearly $3.7 billion in total funding to municipalities and agencies of the government of Puerto Rico for expenses related to hurricanes Irma and María.
Emergency protective measures are actions taken to eliminate or lessen immediate threats either to lives, public health or safety, or significant additional damage to public or private property in a cost-effective manner.
The Sheltering and Temporary Essential Power Pilot Program, also called “Tu Hogar Renace,” pays for basic repairs and allows survivors to return to or remain at home while permanent repairs are completed.
To date, this program has repaired 68,654 houses at an average household cost of $10,233, the agency confirmed.
The grants approved are distributed as follows:
- Nearly $222 million to the Puerto Rico Department of Housing for Sheltering and Temporary Essential Power Pilot Program
- More than $178 million to the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority
- More than $10 million to the town of Cidra
- More than $2 million to the town of Barceloneta
FEMA’s Public Assistance program provides grants to eligible government organizations and certain private non-profit organizations. This assistance is granted for debris removal, life-saving emergency protective measures and the repair, replacement or restoration of disaster-damaged facilities.
The program also encourages protection of these damaged facilities from future events by providing assistance for hazard mitigation measures during the recovery process.
The Public Assistance Program is funded by FEMA and administered by the government of Puerto Rico. FEMA obligates funding for these projects directly to the government.
It is the government’s responsibility to ensure that the eligible agencies, municipalities and nonprofits receive these awards as reimbursements after providing appropriate documentation, the federal agency said.