Laboy: $4B in FEMA risk mitigation funding not at risk
The Central Office of Recovery, Reconstruction and Resiliency (COR3) is “focused on reaching the goal to allocate the $4 billion in Hazard Mitigation Grant Program funds assigned by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) on or before Oct. 31.
Agency Executive Director Manuel Laboy rejected comments that the funds are at risk.
“We’re working full steam ahead with representatives of municipalities, government agencies and nonprofit organizations to achieve the full obligation of HMGP projects,” he said. “Of the funds allocated to mitigate damage following the Hurricane María disaster, COR3 has submitted $2.5 billion in formal proposals to FEMA, of which $1.2 billion were approved.”
“We currently have $1 billion in proposals that are under review and will be forwarded to FEMA for approval. In addition, we’re assisting government agencies in presenting $500 billion in additional proposals, with which we will meet the total obligation of $4 billion,” said Laboy.
COR3 recently hired more staff to add to the team handling the HMGP program, and contracted firms IEM and DCMC to support the technical issues of each risk mitigation project, such as: reinforcing the work of the HMGP team for the development of formal proposals that will be submitted to FEMA; reviewing proposals that sub-applicants submitted to COR3 to ensure they comply with all requirements; and assisting in the review of mitigation plans, Laboy said.
These hires were completed after completing the respective competitive processes through Request for Proposals. The companies will be paid with a special allocation.