(San Juan, P.R.) – The secretary of the Puerto Rico Department of Housing (PRDOH), Fernando Gil-Enseñat, announced today that the Repair, Reconstruction, or Relocation Program (R3) reached its maximum capacity of applicants based on the funds assigned in the Action Plan approved by the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).
To date, the R3 Program has received over 25,000 applications for assistance, which shows the effectiveness of the orientation work carried out by PRDOH in collaboration with the municipalities regarding the Program and its benefits.
“Since I took office, it has been my priority as governor that all reconstruction, repair, and/or relocation applications from citizens who are still suffering from the ravages of hurricanes Irma and Maria are swiftly processed at the PRDOH. We are happy to announce this effort that will help thousands of people,” expressed Governor Wanda Vázquez.
“We are incredibly satisfied knowing that we’ve achieved full capacity for the program’s applications, as this means that outreach has been effective and that federal funds allocated for reconstruction will reach the people, in accordance with their purpose,” expressed Gil-Enseñat.
Likewise, the secretary stated that “PRDOH’s work will continue to be focused on responsibly managing the funds, while continuing to process active applications effectively. R3 Program personnel will continue to help citizens who have already applied and will continue the process with them until it has been completed in order to guarantee that applicants have received the benefits they are entitled to receive.”
The R3 program was implemented by PRDOH on July 31, 2019 in order to provide eligible citizens with assistance to repair and rebuild homes affected by hurricanes Irma and Maria, in addition to offering voluntary relocation opportunities for eligible applicants who live in flood zones or hazardous areas.
“We urge everyone to continue to keep an eye on the programs led by the Department of Housing, whose priority is to support sustainable rebuilding for families residing in Puerto Rico, particularly those who need it the most and are counting on our assistance,” said Gil-Enseñat.
The secretary also pointed out that “we’re aware that there is still much to be done and that the fight to secure these federal funds is another element that’s relevant to our work. Following Governor Wanda Vázquez’s instructions, we will continue the oversight required to expedite the processes and ensure that they are completed, working hand in hand with resident commissioner Jenniffer González, along with the mayors, who are our [right] hand and our direct contact to all Puerto Ricans who need help in the wake of hurricanes Irma and Maria.”
As explained by Gil-Enseñat, the Department of Housing may open a new application period in the future. However, in the interest of responsibly managing the available funds and the expectations of our citizens, it will cease to accept applications for now. Nevertheless, a notification list will be established to alert citizens in the event that more funds become available for this program.
It was also reported that over 18,000 applications for the Program correspond exclusively to priority populations (the elderly, people with disabilities, or citizens whose homes sustained significant damage).
According to Gil-Enseñat, PRDOH will honor all appointments made prior to the closing date, responding to the needs of the citizens so that they can complete the application on the date and time of their appointment. This includes citizens who applied and were referred to the Title Clearance Program or the Housing Counseling Program.
R3 will continue to issue appointments for citizens who applied before the closing date until all of the available funds have been assigned to eligible applicants. Appointments will be scheduled in the order in which the applications were received.
The secretary assured that, at the moment, over 8,000 admission processes have been completed and nearly 4,000 applications have been declared to be pre-eligible.