SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico— Citi Community Development and four Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD)-approved housing counseling organizations announced today an initiative to provide urgently-needed housing assistance in Puerto Rican communities affected by Hurricane Maria. The initiative will help thousands of families across the Commonwealth recover from the devastation of the storm by securing housing solutions and providing essential housing services, such as support for home repairs, free housing counseling, and other vital recovery resources, to renters and homeowners alike.
Supported by $500,000 in funding from Citi Community Development, the four participating housing organizations — Puerto Rico NHS, Ponce Neighborhood Housing Services, Pathstone and One Stop Career Center of Puerto Rico — will collaborate with municipalities and community leaders to target some of the island’s hardest-hit communities. Residents are currently in need of a broad spectrum of assistance that will be addressed through this initiative, including financial assessments; connections to local resources; and consultations on mortgage forbearances, insurance claims and FEMA applications. In addition, this initiative will directly support the reconstruction of homes by making repairs to doors, windows and roofs damaged by the storm.
“I’d like to thank Citi for teaming with four outstanding Puerto Rican organizations to help in this ongoing time of crisis,” said Ricardo Rosselló, governor of Puerto Rico. “Housing is one of the most fundamental and pressing needs and this support will help many families receive the assistance and funding required to rebuild and get back on their feet.”
“Months after the storms have passed, thousands of Puerto Ricans are facing displacement and deep financial instability, with few, if any options to turn to for assistance,” said Bob Annibale, global director, Citi Community Development and Inclusive Finance. “By partnering with trusted, locally-based housing organizations, we are able to provide access to vital counseling, repairs, and other housing support services to assist hundreds of Puerto Rican families as they begin to stabilize and rebuild their homes and their lives.”
"Thank you to Citi for helping our fellow American citizens in Puerto Rico. Housing is the glue that helps hold a family together and this effort will provide desperately needed resources to jumpstart their road to recovery," said Rep. Nydia M. Velázquez (D-NY).
Collectively, the organizations aim to serve an estimated 2,000 individuals and families, and will also support the reconstruction of nearly 100 homes. In addition, PathStone will provide assistance to over 85 small business owners whose businesses were badly damaged and whose incomes have been severely disrupted.
For more information, visit Citi.