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Housing Dept. announces availability of $800M for large-scale development projects

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Puerto Rico Housing Department Secretary William Rodríguez announced that the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Program has allocated $800 million to the Investment Portfolio for Growth (IPG) initiative “to alleviate the exacerbated economic effects of the hurricanes through large-scale development projects.”

As a preliminary process for the IPG Program, interested entities are asked to submit an Expression of Interest and provide a high-level description of their economic development project. The submission deadline is April 3, 2021.

In the Expression of Interest phase, applicants must provide the Housing Department with a general description of the proposed project, the preliminary budget and other details. Entities with eligible Expressions of Interest will then be invited to submit a full application to the program during a subsequent phase.

The program provides up to $50 million in low-interest, long-term, and partially forgivable loans for commercial, mixed-use and infrastructure developments.

“My commitment is to promote the reconstruction of a stronger and more resilient island, but above all to accelerate the growth of the local economy,” Rodríguez said.

“We’re working with a great sense of urgency to allocate CDBG-DR funds to promote economic development and attack business divestment, business closures, and the emigration of workers from all sectors that Puerto Rico had been experiencing and was aggravated with Hurricanes Irma and María,” he said.

The IPG Program intends to award gap funding for large-scale commercial and industrial development, to promote economic revitalization by renewing business and industrial activity through job creation and foster local economic growth, the agency said.

Eligible entities to participate in the IPG initiative include: For-profit businesses; nonprofit organizations, community-based economic development organizations; community development financial institutions; units of general local government/government of Puerto Rico agencies; authorities, trusts, and boards; and public-private partnerships.

The program is expected to create a large number of new jobs, many of which will be filled by low to moderate income individuals, Rodríguez said.

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