One of the ways to boost our economy is to take advantage of all federal programs that focus on the island’s recovery and reconstruction.
The Community Development Block Grant – Disaster Recovery (CDBG – DR) Program was created to grant support to disaster recovery activities, including housing redevelopment and rebuilding. The program is responsible for assuring decent affordable housing opportunities, provision of services, assistance to those most vulnerable in our communities, career opportunities and the conservation of jobs.
The CDBG-DR Program is funded by the Disaster Recovery Program for community development of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). The Puerto Rico Department of Housing (PRDOH) has been designated as the entity responsible for administering this grant that will help in the recovery from disasters caused by hurricanes Irma and Maria in 2017. This includes long-term recovery, restoration of housing, economic infrastructure, and revitalization.
The CDBG-DR’s Economy Sector focuses on transforming Puerto Rico’s economic landscape through economic development initiatives. Some of the key programs that the CDBG-DR Economy Sector offers are the Economic Development Investment Portfolio Program and the City Revitalization Program.
The Investment Portfolio for Growth (IPG) Program has been allocated a total of $800 million in the Puerto Rico CDBG-DR Action Plan to fund sizable development projects that are transformative in nature, and create and retain Low-to-Moderate Income (LMI) jobs.
The program intends to award gap funding for large-scale commercial and industrial development as well as a wide variety of economic revitalization initiatives. This may include the development/redevelopment of Commercial Developments, Mixed-use Developments and Infrastructure Development in support of an economic development investment.
The IPG Program establishes the funding of projects that will significantly impact and enable the long-term economic growth and sustainability of the island.
The CDBG-DR’s Multisector Program brings together the funds of multisectoral initiatives that incorporate aspects or provide benefits in each of the four sectors that make up the Action Plan. The most important program of the Multisector Program is the City Revitalization Program.
The City Revitalization Program (City-Rev Program) program establishes a fund for municipalities to enable a variety of critical recovery activities aimed at reinvigorating urban centers and key community corridors to focus investments, reduce sprawl and create a symbiotic environment to nurture complimentary investments from the private sector.
The program allocates nearly $1.3 billion from CDBG-DR funds to help shape and implement a future vision in communities that were affected by hurricanes Irma and María. Through this funding, the PRDOH will support the 78 municipal governments and other eligible organizations to undertake a variety of recovery activities aimed at reinvigorating downtown areas, urban centers and key community corridors.
The purpose of the program is to help create projects that will promote the redevelopment, re-greening and restoration of lost natural resources, and further incentivize private investments in restored urban areas.
Using these economic and multisector funds at our disposal will allow us to rebuild our Island and communities. Let’s not waste this incredible opportunity!