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Affordable Housing Proposals for Puerto Rico Top $13.4M

Puerto Rico San Juan

Six agencies have come together to invest more than $13.4 million in affordable housing in Puerto Rico following the earthquake on January 7, according to the New York Federal Reserve. 

The largest proposal was submitted by the Instituto para el Desarrollo Socioeconómico y de Vivienda de Puerto Rico at $10.5 million. The proposal would be to promote affordable housing by financing mixed-use development that serves low-income families.

A $2 million proposal was submitted to reduce local barriers to housing and community development by establishing a pre-development fund that would provide capital to organizations in housing reconstruction and rehabilitation. 

Puerto Rico was shaken by a magnitude 6.4 earthquake south of Indios on January 7. The island is still recovering from 2017’s Hurricane Maria when Puerto Rico felt economic losses exceeding $1 billion. 

Following the earthquake, CoreLogic expects the economic loss to be maintained within the $1 billion mark.

“I am concerned because Puerto Rico hasn't yet fully recovered from Hurricane Maria, and many of the homes on the island are designed for hurricanes and floods - they're basically built on stilts, which makes them very vulnerable to earthquakes,” said Leisha Delgado, Founder & CEO, Hello Solutions. “Our experience from Maria tells us that there will be challenges coordinating assistance efforts, and communicating with people in parts of the island without power, so they may not know how to get aid, or know that help is on its way.”

According to the United States Geological Survey (USGS), this event has been identified as the main shock event (with 97% probability). A magnitude 5.8 event that struck on January 6 in a similar location is now identified as a foreshock.

CoreLogic also notes that there is uncertainty from the effect of demand surge, where materials are in short supply from the repairs from Hurricane Maria.

“As such, there could be an additional spike in the cost of building materials and reconstruction work,” CoreLogic notes. “Because the island has been struck by two events in close proximity, repair costs could easily increase by up to 33% without federal or local government intervention.”

About Author: Mike Albanese

A graduate of the University of Alabama, Mike Albanese has worked for news publications since 2011 in Texas and Colorado. He has built a portfolio of more than 1,000 articles, covering city government, police and crime, business, sports, and is experienced in crafting engaging features and enterprise pieces. He spent time as the sports editor for the "Pilot Point Post-Signal," and has covered the DFW Metroplex for several years. He has also assisted with sports coverage and editing duties with the "Dallas Morning News" and "Denton Record-Chronicle" over the past several years.
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