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The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and Puerto Rico’s housing department, Departamento de la Vivienda, announced two partial approvals of Vivienda’s Action Plan, approving the use of $6.2 billion in Community Development Block Grant Mitigation (CDBG-MIT) funding for Puerto Rico. The action is a vital step in resetting the relationship between HUD and Vivienda on Puerto Rico’s recovery efforts. This re-set will ensure that Puerto Rico is able to access and spend critical disaster and recovery funds on urgent unmet needs.

Here’s what they’re saying about HUD and the Puerto Rico housing department’s new action to enable stronger recovery for the island:

Puerto Rico Governor Pedro Pierluisi: “Accelerating the release of funds for the reconstruction of our Island has been my priority since I was sworn in as governor. PRDOH is complying with the public policy of the new government, working closely with the new HUD administration, to ensure approval of the funds after consideration of the pressing needs of our communities. I appreciate the speed with which President Joe Biden’s administration has worked to expedite the disbursement of this money. We will take advantage of every dollar to improve our infrastructure and the quality of life of all Puerto Ricans.” [Statement, via La Perla del Sur, 2/2/21]

Former President Bill Clinton: “Grateful to the Biden Administration for providing long overdue support for the people of Puerto Rico to rebuild from the 2017 hurricanes and prepare for future storms.” [Tweet, 2/2/21]

Congresswoman Nydia Velazquez: “I am deeply grateful that @POTUS & @HUDgov made releasing these critical recovery funds a priority in their first weeks in office. This is long overdue and was arbitrarily held up under the previous Admin. which routinely devalued Puerto Rican lives.” [Tweet, 2/1/21]

Congresswoman Jenniffer González-Colón: “Glad to see we are a step closer to accessing over $6 billion of @HUDgov CDBG-DR mitigation program. These funds will help ensure the Island rebuilds in a resilient manner and is better equipped to face future disasters.” [Tweet, 2/1/21]

Congressman Darren Soto: “Last week I joined @GovPierluisi and @RepRitchie to push for expedited #PuertoRico disaster relief. Looks like @POTUS is now getting ready to fast track billions in hurricane relief withheld under Trump.” [Tweet, 2/1/21]

Congressman Ritchie Torres: “What a difference a new @POTUS Administration makes. After years of blocked access to federal funds, #PuertoRico is going to get the resources it needs to recover from natural disasters & the pandemic. Proud to partner w. @RepDarrenSoto in pushing for expedited disaster relief.” [Tweet, 2/2/21]

Florida Commissioner of Agriculture and Consumer Services Nikki Fried: “The people of Puerto Rico are American citizens—our recovery efforts should be the same for them as they are for any other state. Thank you @POTUS for removing the restrictions on these funds, which have been needed since Hurricane Maria hit in 2017.” [Tweet, 2/2/21]

Source: HUD