U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Deputy Secretary, Pamela Hughes Patenaude will visit Puerto Rico this week to get a closer look at the island’s recovery from Hurricane Maria. Patenaude will be joined by members of HUD’s Disaster Recovery and Long-Term Housing Team.
“The HUD recovery team on the ground in Puerto Rico is comprised of key leadership and decision makers who will meet with Puerto Rican stakeholders to assess their long-term recovery needs,” HUD Secretary Ben Carson said. “This will ensure that we have the most current, up to date information available, which will be critical to decision makers as we develop a strong recovery plan to aid the people of Puerto Rico.”
In Puerto Rico, the HUD team will tour hurricane-damaged areas and meet with Puerto Rico Governor Ricardo Rossello and other elected and local officials. The HUD recovery team will also visit disaster recovery centers in Toa Baja and Bayamon.
“This is an opportunity for our leadership team to meet with key stakeholders and understand the damage first hand,” said Patenaude. “This will help us meet the needs of hurricane survivors as we continue to plan and coordinate long term housing solutions for our fellow Americans as they continue to recover.”
HUD programs play a significant role in Puerto Rico’s housing stock, including contracts with approximately 203 multi-family properties that provide nearly 21,000 affordable housing units; funding for more than 54,000 public housing units; and Federal Housing Administration backed insurance for approximately 117,000 mortgages on single family homes.
“Our disaster response team has been working closely with the Federal Emergency Management Agency during the initial recovery stages of this disaster,” said Patenaude. “Our efforts this week are focused on understanding the scope of the housing rebuilding effort.”