The Central Office for Recovery, Reconstruction and Resilience (COR3) announced on Tuesday that it established a plan with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to streamline and optimize the use of roughly $4 billion allocated to the Hazard Mitigation Grant Program (HMGP).
COR3 Executive Director Manuel Laboy and some of his team members participated in the Hazard Mitigation Sprint Meeting for these purposes.
Laboy underscored that in the past months, the agency presented before FEMA some HMGP proposals for $2,513,000,000. To date, the federal entity approved several projects that will cost $1,138,000,000, he stated.
"Through the execution of the projects presented under the [HMGP] under Section 404 of the Stafford Act, we guarantee compliance with the public policy of Gov. Pedro R. Pierluisi when addressing situations that affect our people, such as flood control, mitigation of the effects of climate change, mitigation of coral reefs and coastal erosion, renewable energy, structural repairs due to seismic damages and landslides, among others," Laboy explained.
The work plan that was established during the meeting was divided into topics according to the phases of the program, among which are: prioritization and eligibility of projects, development and evaluation of proposals, and training.
"We are working hard in collaboration with the Puerto Rico Department of Housing, the Reconstruction Council, state agencies, municipalities, and non-profit entities to present all the necessary proposals on or before the deadline of Oct. 31, 2021. This, with the purpose of reaching the obligation of all the funds assigned to the [HMGP] 404 for the damages caused by Hurricane Maria. Given this, we continue evaluating the letters of intent previously submitted to COR3 to identify additional projects aligned with public policy," Laboy said.
The money allocated to this program comes from FEMA as a result of a disaster declaration. These funds should be used to reduce the risk of loss of life and property by reducing the impact that could be caused in the event of a future disaster.
For more information about the HMGP, visit www.recovery.pr.