HUD AND PUERTO RICO ANNOUNCE JOINT AGREEMENT TO DEVELOP MARKET-BASED HOUSING PLAN HUD to provide training and technical assistance to help Commonwealth
SAN JUAN, PR - The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico today signed an agreement to develop and implement a comprehensive market-based housing plan on the island. Under the terms of the agreement, HUD will provide Puerto Rico with significant training and technical assistance while the Commonwealth designs and implements a far-reaching housing strategy to better serve its citizens.
Puerto Rico's Governor Luis Fortuño and several HUD officials announced the joint agreement during a signing ceremony this morning in San Juan.
"This agreement represents a clear understanding that we will work side-by-side to improve the delivery of housing on Puerto Rico," said HUD's Secretary Shaun Donovan. "We share a common goal to make certain that federally funded housing programs make the greatest possible impact for the people of the Commonwealth."
Governor Fortuño added, "The HUD programs that we are focusing on as part of this agreement - the HOME Investment Partnerships Program, the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Programs and the Community Development Block Grant Program - exist to improve the living conditions of many of Puerto Rico's neediest citizens. Through the Puerto Rico Housing Task Force that we are creating as part of this agreement, our goal is to integrate these important programs, along with others in both our public and private sectors, into a comprehensive and effective housing and community development plan."
HUD will assist Puerto Rico's Housing Task Force in developing and implementing a housing plan that addresses the needs of low- and moderate-income households. HUD technical assistance will include:
Conducting a comprehensive 'housing needs assessment;'
Identifying gaps in capacity needed to execute the housing plan;
Improving financial management of HUD's housing and community development programs;
Assisting the Commonwealth to develop a multi-year plan improve program administration; and
Training to leverage HUD funding with other public and private capital to amplify the impact of the Commonwealth's housing plan.
For its part, the Puerto Rico Housing Task Force agrees to work closely with HUD in the development and implementation of its plan and to produce quality, affordable homes for especially vulnerable populations including the elderly, homeless and persons living with HIV/AIDS. After completion of the 'housing needs assessment,' the Commonwealth will provide a timeline for completion of a market-based, comprehensive housing and community development plan and will develop action plans to resolve any outstanding audit findings from HUD's Office of Inspector General.
The Commonwealth agrees that within two years, it will implement a long-term plan to use CDBG administrative funds to improve local capacity to manage HUD block grant programs. In addition, Puerto Rico agrees to develop housing units for special needs populations identified in the needs assessment, obligate HUD funds in a timely manner, and develop an open, transparent and competitive process for awarding HUD funds to sub-recipients.
To read the full text of the technical assistance agreement signed today, visit HUD's website.
HUD's mission is to create strong, sustainable, inclusive communities and quality affordable homes for all. HUD is working to strengthen the housing market to bolster the economy and protect consumers; meet the need for quality affordable rental homes: utilize housing as a platform for improving quality of life; build inclusive and sustainable communities free from discrimination; and transform the way HUD does business. More information about HUD and its programs is available on the Internet at www.hud.gov and espanol.hud.gov.