2,535 Puerto Ricans are still homeless: As we commemorate today the second year anniversary of hurricane María’s landfall in Puerto Rico, a recent study, revealed that 2,535 Puerto Ricans are currently homeless. The study, conducted by the Puerto Rican Department of the Family and the HUD Continuum of Care program (CoC), also revealed that one in ten of the surveyed, attributed their homelessness to hurricanes Irma and María. Moreover, Glorimar Andújar Matos, Secretary of the Department of the Family, urged the CoC to develop strategic interventions to mitigate the impact of homelessness on the Island.
Mayors inform Puerto Rico’s Fiscal Board of post-disaster reconstruction issues: The Puerto Rico Mayors Association shared with the Financial Oversight Management Board (FOMB), data they have collected including towns’ reconstruction difficulties caused by the inefficiency of the central government. The mayors emphasized that Puerto Rico is more vulnerable in terms of infrastructure and housing because it has not been able to start the reconstruction phase. They also denounced the lack of trained personnel at FEMA and at the government’s Central Office of Recovery, Reconstruction, and Resiliency (COR3) and the inconsistency in the documentation process for validation.
Puerto Rico included in federal budget measure: After extensive lobbying from Puerto Rico’s public and private sector, the island was recently included in the continuing resolution introduced by House Democrats, which keeps the Medicaid matching ratio for the island at 100 percent until Nov. 21. The legislation is crucial as the FOMB expects a $222 million cut in the island’s healthcare budget that would force the local government to cut benefits and possibly beneficiaries.
Gov. Vázquez Discusses Issues Related to Health, Education and Recovery in Washington, D.C.: During her trip last week to Washington, DC, Puerto Rico Gov. Wanda Vázquez discussed issues related to health, education, and recovery efforts. The governor met with various Congressmembers as well as White House officials. During the meetings, aspects related to natural disaster federal response, health, and education on the island were also discussed.
- SBA has handled 735,829 calls from Puerto Rico disaster survivors.
- Since 9/12, SBA received 7 new applications and approved 1 loan for $24,000.
- The SBA has accepted 114,731 applications and approved 60,310 loans for $2,221,871,700.
- SBA is staffing 24 community recovery centers in Puerto Rico.
- There are 94 field operations personnel in the disaster area.