Pierluisi, HUD Secretary commit to ‘continue accelerating’ Puerto Rico recovery
Puerto Rico Gov. Pedro Pierluisi and U.S. Secretary of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), Marcia L. Fudge on Tuesday discussed the island’s access to disaster relief funding, underscoring their commitment to continue accelerating Puerto Rico’s recovery.
Last week, HUD announced the obligation of $8.2 billion in Community Development Block Grant Mitigation (CDBG-MIT) funds, along with the removal of burdensome restrictions unique to the island — including the incremental grant obligations, or tranche structure, and review by the federal financial monitor — that limited access to recovery funding and the federal financial monitor.
These funds were allocated following Hurricane María in September 2017.
“In the first 100 days of the Biden-Harris Administration, HUD has taken swift action to accelerate access to funds Puerto Rico needs to recover from past disasters and build resilience to future storms,” Fudge said. “I thank Gov. Pierluisi for his partnership and look forward to continue working together on behalf of the Puerto Rican people.”
Taken together, these two actions mean that Puerto Rico has access to 89% of the disaster relief funds appropriated from HUD for this purpose, HUD said.
“On behalf of all American citizens in Puerto Rico, I thank the Secretary of Housing, the Hon. Marcia L. Fudge, for making Puerto Rico a priority and working to remove the onerous hurdles to access recovery funds imposed by the previous administration,” Pierluisi said.
“Puerto Rico deserves to be treated fairly and on equal footing with other states of the union that have suffered through natural disasters,” he said.
“I appreciate that Secretary Fudge, with whom I had the honor to serve alongside in Congress, took the time to speak with me today, and I know that we will work hard together on the island’s recovery as we continue to build a stronger and more resilient Puerto Rico,” Pierluisi concluded.