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Hurricane María

$2.2B in federal aid approved for P.R. households, businesses

With two weeks remaining before the deadline to register with the Federal Emergency Management Agency, more than $2.2 billion in federal aid is helping fuel the recovery for households and businesses in Puerto Rico, the agency said.

More than 1.1 million Puerto Rico households and businesses have contacted FEMA for help and information. Survivors contact FEMA seeking help for various reasons such as damage to homes and businesses, disaster unemployment, food, temporary housing, loss of business revenue and other needs.

Many who register are referred to FEMA’s Individuals and Households program, which is designed to help with immediate needs such as basic housing repairs, short-term temporary sheltering assistance in hotels and motels, and longer-term temporary rental assistance until homes are repaired or other permanent housing is secured.

FEMA has approved more than $1.1 billion in grants for individuals and families, the agency confirmed.

This includes approval of nearly $620 million for housing repairs and nearly $510 million for other needs, which may include personal property losses, damaged or destroyed vehicles, and disaster-related medical, dental, funeral and childcare costs.

Approximately 130,000 homeowners and renters have received financial rental assistance and nearly 10,000 survivors are currently staying at hotels and motels through the Transitional Sheltering Assistance program.

Many survivors have additional needs beyond what can be provided by FEMA programs. FEMA works closely with the government of Puerto Rico, other federal agencies, and faith-based and voluntary organization partners to help match survivors with other sources of assistance.

After insurance, the U.S. Small Business Administration provides another source of rebuilding funds for homeowners and businesses in the form of low-interest disaster loans. To date, more than $1.1 billion in loans has been approved to help homeowners, renters and businesses, FEMA stated.

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This story was written by our staff based on a press release.

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