(San Juan, P.R.) The Department of Housing (DH) announced that it will conduct five hearings to promote citizen participation in relation to the $8.3 billion in CDBG-MIT mitigation funds allocated to Puerto Rico by the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).

The first two hearings will be held Wednesday, September 16 and Friday, September 18, 2020, at 8:00 p. m. Both hearings will be broadcasted live on WIPR channels 3 and 6; 940 AM radio; and streamed live on the Notiséis and CDBG-DR Puerto Rico Facebook pages; as well as on the CDBG-DR YouTube channel.

These hearings are scheduled to be held before the CDBG-MIT Action Plan is posted for public comment, on September 21, 2020. Three additional hearings will be held after it is posted on dates that will be determined soon.

Secretary of Housing Luis Fernández Trinchet stated that “the broadcasting of these hearings on television is an unprecedented effort and we wish to consider and ensure the participation of all citizens who are instrumental in the development the CDBG-MIT Action Plan.”

These funds are part of a rigorous investigation, planning, and citizen participation process that will allow the DH to learn about the needs and develop high-impact activities in order to mitigate disaster risks and reduce future losses.

In order to extend its scope to all citizens without limiting those who do not have access to social media or those who have any functional diversity, interested individuals may submit their position statements, comments, or questions by email at CDBG-MIT@vivienda.pr.gov, using the form for submitting proposals, comments, and questions, which will be available on the day of the broadcast at www.cdbgdr.pr.gov/cdbg-mit/.

Likewise, interested parties may contact the call center on the day of the hearing at (787) 522-5950 for TTY, or at 1 (833) 234-CDBG/1 (833) 234-2324, and indicate that they wish to submit their comments for the CDBG-MIT.

Fernández Trinchet added that “Governor Wanda Vázquez Garced and I encourage all Puerto Rico residents, nonprofit organizations, government and non-government entities and other stakeholders to share this advertisement with their families, friends, and neighbors to participate in these important hearings. All opinions matter.”