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Federal funding at center of Puerto Rico House Treasury Committee hearing

by | Apr 10, 2024 | Federal Government, Puerto Rico | 0 comments

The Puerto Rico House Treasury Committee recently heard details involving the Puerto Rico Department of Housing’s budget for the year. The 2024-2025 proposed budget totalled $3.3 billion, an increase from $1.9 billion, which was approved for 2024. William Rodríguez Rodríguez, the Puerto Rico Housing Secretary, stated, “The increase is mainly reflected in the allocation of federal funds, specifically the Disaster Recovery programs, [and] Community Development Block Grant Mitigation programs [CDBG-MIT].” These programs aim to aid people after natural disasters and provide funding to increase resilience to disasters by lessening the impact of future disasters

Rodriguez also claims that they are working to identify properties that are “public nuisances,” using funds from CDBG-MIT and partnering with a nonprofit. Once the property has been acquired, funds from government agencies will be used to revitalize it; then, it can be made available to other programs. One such program is R3, the Home Repair, Reconstruction, or Relocation program, which aims to help people whose homes were damaged by Hurricanes Irma and Maria. R3 uses the revitalized property to operate its program. This program is partially funded by the US Housing and Urban Development Department (HUD). 

Another element of the budget is the Public Housing Fund. Administrator Alejandro Salgado Colón highlighted the need for the budget of this program to be $740.668 million, 99.6% of which comes from federal funds. In contrast, this year’s funds for the project totaled $3.1 million. The program works through a voucher system in which almost 13,000 vouchers are given out. These vouchers are then assigned to specific projects that help islanders, including disadvantaged populations such as veterans. The Federal Emergency Management Agency is partly responsible for the $3.1 billion budget, which aims to provide grants to nonprofits, state agencies, and municipalities. The grants are intended to go towards helping communities respond to and recover from natural disasters. This program has estimated damages to cost $2.2 billion, $822 million of which will be covered by insurance. Still, the cost for this remains $1.4 billion, accounting for more than one-third of the budget.



Sanjana Dhanwantri

Sanjana Dhanwantri

Sanjana Dhanwantri is a junior at Edgemont High School in Westchester, NY. She is interested in politics and foreign affairs and hopes for a career in this field. Her hobbies include baking as well as drawing and reading. Sanjana is a Federal Affairs Intern Correspondent at Pasquines.


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