Federal warnings cause further delays in the post-María recovery process in Puerto Rico

Four Puerto Rico government agencies are experiencing delays in the disbursement of recovery funds related to the aftermath of Hurricanes Irma and María for failing to correct a series of problems related to how they handled money granted by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) that the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Office of the Inspector General (OIG) flagged in audits conducted in 2019. The Central Office of Recovery, Reconstruction and Resiliency, known as COR3, Executive Director Ottmar Chávez Piñero said the audit´s claims do not limit further approvals of recovery funds by FEMA, but they do affect the process of disbursement of these monies to the agencies. COR3 is the entity in charge of channeling FEMA funds to public agencies, municipalities and nonprofit organizations. “Completing the corrective actions is certainly going to have an impact on the disbursement [of funds]. Within the grant validation process, in terms of compliance, we have to be sure that these agencies abide by the results of the audits, as part of the checklists.

The Program to Deal with Housing Needs in Puerto Rico after Hurricane María Lingers in a Limbo

The Governor assures that the R3 program’s priority is to rebuild and repair homes, but the initiative poses a threat of displacement by hindering construction in flood-prone zones, and by not offering as an option reducing risks in the communities, because the federal funding for it hasn’t arrived. Two and a half years after the disaster, the main housing recovery program has not relocated anyone. María Pérez-Ramos never imagined that the land ceded by the former mayor of Canovanas, José “Chemo” Soto, in the San Isidro community 19 years ago, was flood-prone. Had she known, she would not have accepted it, she said. Now, all she wants is to move to a safe place where she doesn’t have to be afraid when hurricane season arrives in the summer.

En el limbo programa que atendería las viviendas afectadas por el huracán María en Puerto Rico

La Gobernadora asegura que la prioridad del programa R3 es la reconstrucción y la reparación de viviendas, pero este representa una amenaza de desplazamientos al impedir la construcción en zonas inundables y no ofrecer como opción reducir los riesgos en las comunidades, porque los fondos federales para ello no han llegado. Dos años y medio después del desastre, el principal programa de recuperación de viviendas no ha reubicado a nadie.

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

The trauma of losing a home has repeated itself over the past three years for many families: first because of Hurricane María, and then due to the earthquakes. They have learned a lesson. Government help has seldom been a solution. 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.