Three years after Congress approved the aid needed for Puerto Rico to recover from the impacts of the hurricane, the island will finally see some of the money.
The administration’s decision seems to come in time amid a heated debate surrounding statehood and the colonialist context to which the island is subjected, which many argue has been the reason behind its stagnation.
For its part, the Department of Housing and Urban Development removed exclusive restrictions imposed on Puerto Rico that had limited its ability to access certain recovery funds following the devastation of Hurricane Maria in 2017.
As NBC News continued, the agency also unlocked access to $8.2 billion in Community Development Block Grant Mitigation funds to help the island build resilience against future disasters.
“Puerto Rico needs to recover from past disasters and build resilience to future storms while ensuring transparency and accountability,” Housing Secretary Marcia Fudge said in a statement Monday. “We are committed to an ongoing partnership with Puerto Rico to empower the island’s communities and help them build back better.”
Puerto Rico Gov. Pedo Pierluisi celebrated the news, adding that the federal aid will allow the island’s local housing department “to streamline the work and invest effectively in the recovery of our island.”
With information from NBC News.