(San Juan, P.R)– After an effort to provide orientation to all of Puerto Rico’s municipalities, the Puerto Rico Department of Housing announced that all 78 towns are already in the final step of their eligibility process for the Municipal Recovery Planning (MRP) program.

The purpose of the program is the preparation of recovery plans for the development of more resilient communities in each one of the participating municipalities.

MRP allocated $39 million in funds from the Community Development Block Grant Disaster Recovery Program (CDBG-DR) in order for the municipalities to carry out planning tasks to respond to the needs caused—or made more urgent—by the passing of hurricanes Irma and Maria through Puerto Rico. Each municipality is already aware of the sum approved for their planning process, as established through a uniform data analysis for all municipalities which considered data such as population and the damages caused by the hurricanes, among others.

“The efforts led by Governor Wanda Vázquez-Garced in collaboration with the PRDOH task force have yielded significant results and all of Puerto Rico’s municipalities are currently involved. As part of the efforts, we offered workshops to the 78 municipalities, which were provided with technical support and answers regarding the program,” said PRDOH Secretary Luis Fernández-Trinchet.

The Secretary added that “this municipal planning for resilience uses collaboration as a tool that empowers the municipalities and their communities, as they, along with the municipalities, will be the ones in charge of designing the plan that most benefits them.”

The municipalities had five months to complete and submit the application: eleven municipalities sent their applications in the first two months and nine municipalities completed and sent theirs in the following two months.

During the last month, when a second round of technical workshops was carried out and municipal outreach was offered—in order to answer questions and assist in the application process—another 58 applications were received.

As part of the next steps, the Department of Housing will verify that each municipality application meets the requirements and that said municipalities are capable of managing and implementing the program.

Planning service providers will collaborate with the municipalities in order to carry out outreach, communication, and discussion activities with residents and stakeholder in the community.

This inclusive planning process will produce individual municipal plans— as well as subsequent regional municipal plans— that will strategically position the municipalities and regions to be entitled to receive financing through other CDBG-DR programs described in PRDOH’s CDBG-DR Action Plan.

These programs include, but are not limited to, the City Revitalization Program, the Critical Infrastructure Resilience Program, the Community Resilience Centers Program, and Economic Recovery Programs, among others.

For more information, visit: www.cdbg-dr.pr.gov.