Increasingly Uncertain Securing a Place to Live in Public Housing in Puerto Rico

In Aguadilla’s Residencial José A. Aponte public housing project everything is uncertain. While the Public Housing Administration (AVP, in Spanish) has it on its list for possible demolition because it is in a flood prone zone, residents are unaware of the details or where they will live. Ana María Esteves, who has lived in this complex for 58 years, confirms that she found out about the possible demolition from  her neighbors, but so far, American Management, the company that manages the housing project that has been her home for “a lifetime,” has not said anything about those plans. Wilfredo Benejan Acevedo agreed with her. He heard of the government’s intentions through comments from people and on the radio.

HUD’s Inspector General is Auditing Part of the Disaster Funds for Puerto Rico

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Office of the Inspector General (HUD’s OIG) confirmed it is auditing the Community Development Block Grant–Disaster Recovery (CDBG–DR) Program funds granted to Puerto Rico after Hurricanes Irma and María. HUD Spokesman Darryl Madden told the Center for Investigative Journalism (CPI, for its initials in Spanish) that he could not offer more details because the process has just begun. Puerto Rico Housing Department Secretary, Fernando Gil-Enseñat, told the CPI that the audit began March 6 and it will oversee regular CDBG funds, as well as CDBG-DR funds. Housing Department Spokeswoman Leticia Jover, said so far, “about $1 billion in CDBG-DR funds have been alloted and they are in the competitive process,” or requests for proposals (RFP). No disbursements of CDBG-DR funds have been made yet for the different programs established in the Action Plan, she said.