FEMA: $2.2 Billion in Federal Aid Approved for Puerto Rico Households and Businesses

With two weeks remaining before the deadline to register with FEMA, more than $2.2 billion in federal aid is helping fuel the recovery for households and businesses in Puerto Rico.

More than 1.1 million Puerto Rico households and businesses have contacted FEMA for help and information. Survivors contact FEMA seeking help for various reasons such as damage to homes and businesses, disaster unemployment, food, temporary housing, loss of business revenue and other needs.

Many who register are referred to FEMA’s Individuals and Households program, which is designed to help with immediate needs such as basic housing repairs, short-term temporary sheltering assistance in hotels and motels, and longer-term temporary rental assistance until homes are repaired or other permanent housing is secured.

FEMA has approved more than $1.1 billion in grants for individuals and families. This includes approval of nearly $620 million for housing repairs and nearly $510 million for other needs. Other needs may include personal property losses, damaged or destroyed vehicles, and disaster-related medical, dental, funeral and childcare costs.

Approximately 130,000 homeowners and renters have received financial rental assistance and nearly 10,000 survivors are currently staying at hotels and motels through the Transitional Sheltering Assistance program.

Many survivors have additional needs beyond what can be provided by FEMA programs. FEMA works closely with the Government of Puerto Rico, other federal agencies, and faith-based and voluntary organization partners to help match survivors with other sources of assistance.

After insurance, the U.S. Small Business Administration provides the largest source of rebuilding funds for homeowners and businesses in the form of low-interest disaster loans. To date, more than $1.1 billion in loans has been approved to help homeowners, renters and businesses.

Registering with FEMA is the first step for survivors to be considered for federal disaster assistance or to be referred to other agencies for help. The last day to register with FEMA and to submit SBA disaster loan applications is Tuesday, March 20.

Survivors who sustained damage or loss due to hurricanes Irma and Maria and have not yet registered with FEMA should do so one of the following ways:

  • Online at DisasterAssistance.gov
  • Call the FEMA Helpline at 800-621-FEMA (3362) or TTY 800-462-7585 (press 2 for Spanish). Lines are open 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. daily.
  • Survivors can also register at a disaster recovery center. To find the nearest center, visit fema.gov/drclocator

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