Twice Without a Roof: Government Inefficiency Worsens Effects of Hurricanes and Earthquakes in Puerto Rico

It took Yahaira Santiago two years to fix the roof that Hurricane María ripped off her home at the La Playa de Ponce sector in the South coast. She had returned home only a few weeks before, when the Jan. 7 earthquake opened the earth in her backyard and left the structure unlivable once again. She didn’t even have time to paint what was built.

That same day, she and her husband, both municipal police officers, sought shelter and then joined the encampment that was built around the art installation that spells Ponce at one of the town’s entrances in the middle of the highway. They returned to their neighborhood after 22 days.

Former HUD Deputy Secretary Works at Firm Commissioned for Puerto Rico’s Recovery Efforts

When Pamela H. Patenaude announced her departure as undersecretary of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) on Dec. 17, 2018, former Secretary of the Puerto Rico Housing Department, Fernando Gil-Enseñat, and several local officials publicly lamented it. Patenaude, who was second in command after Secretary Ben Carson, was an important ally of the Island after Hurricanes Irma and María in September 2017. Under her tenure, the funding allocation increased from $11 billion to $20 billion through the Community Development Block Grant Disaster Recovery Program (CDBG-DR). According to The Washington Post, the former federal official advocated for Puerto Rico in accessing the first $1.5 billion allocation of these funds, whose availability was announced in December 2018.

No llegan los fondos para reconstruir parques y áreas recreativas en Puerto Rico

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