• Hurricane Maria: Useful links for Puerto Rican survivors

    By: Lauren Seabrook

    Updated:

    Tu Hogar Renace (Your Home Reborn) – Direct Assistance to Disaster Survivors
    •    The government of Puerto Rico is leading an effort to allow property owners to remain in their homes while repairs are being made.
    •    Under the program, a homeowner’s primary residence may be eligible for necessary repairs to return the home to safe, habitable, and functional condition

    Repairs include:
        Repairs to keep roofs from leaking.
        Replace damaged windows and doors necessary to make a home safe and secure.
        Repairs to damaged walls, and water heaters.
     
    Voluntary Agencies Leading and Organizing Recovery (VALOR). 
    •    The VALOR program is now providing supplies and materials to support essential, temporary repairs that allow survivors to move back into their homes.
    •    The program is not intended to return housing and personal belongings to pre-hurricane conditions. Only essential home repairs will be made at no cost to the homeowner.
    •    FEMA is providing the supplies and materials for the effort at no cost to the voluntary organizations and agencies participating in VALOR.
    •    Once a survivor registers with FEMA, they may be referred to voluntary agencies for additional assistance.

    Rental Assistance – Financial Assistance to Disaster Survivors
    •    Renters displaced by the storms may be eligible for temporary rental assistance from FEMA.
    •    To recertify for rental assistance, applicants should have a landlord/tenant agreement for the period FEMA assistance will be used, and receipts for payment should be maintained.
    •    FEMA will provide funds directly to disaster survivors, who are then responsible for finding available rental resources of their choosing
    •    FEMA will require documentation of receipts, and disaster survivors must be able to demonstrate that they are working toward a more permanent housing option by repairing their home or by identifying some other long-term option.

    Direct Lease – Direct Assistance to Disaster Survivors
    •    Vacant units are leased by FEMA and are used as temporary housing for disaster survivors. FEMA pays the rent for these units. Utility costs and other expenses not covered in the lease are the responsibility of the disaster survivor.
    •    Property owners interested in participating in this program should email:  FEMA-Lease-PR@fema.dhs.gov for more information.
    •    FEMA will notify disaster survivors that they are eligible for FEMA-leased units as units become available.
     
    Multi-Family Lease and Repair – Direct Assistance to Disaster Survivors
    •    Under these programs, FEMA can make repairs to rental properties with vacant rental units through an agreement that allows FEMA to lease the vacant units once they are repaired.
    •    Vacant units are leased by FEMA and are used as temporary housing for disaster survivors. FEMA pays the rent for these units. Utility costs and other expenses not covered in the lease are the responsibility of the disaster survivor.
    •    Property owners interested in participating in this program can email: FEMA-MLR-PR@fema.dhs.gov.
    •    FEMA will notify disaster survivors that they are eligible for FEMA-leased units as units become available.
     
    Home Repair Assistance – Financial Assistance to Disaster Survivors
    •    Financial grant to help make minimal repairs to a primary residence, utilities, and residential structure, including privately-owned access routes (driveways, roads, or bridges) to a safe and functioning condition.
    •    FEMA may provide financial assistance for the repair of real property components, including, but not limited to: 
    o    Replace damaged structural components of a home (foundation, exterior walls, roof). Windows, doors, floors, walls, ceilings, and cabinetry.
    o    Access and egress, including privately-owned roads and privately-owned bridges.
    o    Blocking, leveling, and anchoring of a mobile home, and reconnecting or resetting its sewer, water, electrical, oil, trash, and fuel lines and tanks.
    o    Utility systems, including electrical, gas, water, trash, oil, and septic/sewage systems.
    o    Items or services determined to be eligible hazard mitigation measures that reduce the likelihood of future damage to the residence, utilities, or infrastructure
      
    Rural Development
    •    For assistance regarding single family housing guaranteed loan program, single family housing direct home loans, business & industry loan guarantees, water and waste disposal loan and grant program and multi-family housing direct loans contact USDA: 
    o    Phone: 800-670-6553 or 787-766-5095 www.rd.usda.gov
    Immediate Foreclosure Relief – Financial Assistance to Disaster Survivors
    •    The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) granted moratorium until March 19, 2018 on foreclosures and forbearance on foreclosures of Federal Housing Administration (FHA) insured home mortgages.
    •    For more information about FHA programs, survivors may contact 1-800-Call FHA (800-225-5342).
     
    Mortgage Insurance and Home Rehabilitation – Financial Assistance to Disaster Survivors
    •    HUD provides FHA mortgage insurance to disaster survivors who lost their homes and who need to rebuild or buy another home. Borrowers from participating FHA-approved lenders are eligible for 100 percent financing, including closing costs.
    •    For more information about HUD approved housing, counselors can help with questions regarding HUD programs. Survivors may call 800-569-4287.

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