How we brought back 1,000 Puerto Rican homes hit by natural disasters

How we brought back 1,000 Puerto Rican homes hit by natural disasters
May 12, 2022
1 MIN. READ

We were the first team on the Single-Family Repair, Reconstruction or Relocation program to achieve this exciting milestone

Following the devastation wrought by hurricanes Irma and Maria in 2017, thousands of Puerto Ricans were left without homes. We joined forces with the Puerto Rico Department of Housing (PRDOH) to implement the Single-Family Repair, Reconstruction or Relocation (R3) program across 29 municipalities. The R3 program provides funding to repair or reconstruct damaged homes and help households relocate to existing or newly constructed housing in non hazard areas.

From application to closeout, we oversee all stages of implementation of the program. Our experienced case managers conduct applicant intake, case management, and eligibility determinations—as well as work with partners to conduct damage assessments, award coordination, and oversight of subsequent construction.

“Construction managers started repairing homes in the region in February 2020, six months after the program began application intake. Despite earthquakes, COVID-19 lockdowns, and other obstacles, all R3 vendors supporting PRDOH have pushed forward with one goal—return families to safer, more resilient homes,” explains Lissette Hernandez, disaster recovery case manager.

Now we’re thrilled to be the first of the four program managers to achieve this milestone: 1,000 construction completes.

This means 1,000 formerly dislocated Puerto Rican families have returned to permanent housing that’s been repaired or reconstructed.

As is often the case when we’re supporting disaster management efforts, building a team that’s representative of the communities we are serving is key. In Puerto Rico, over 90% of our 350-person team supporting R3 are local hires. Their lived experience, resilience, and optimism have been essential to the success of R3, but also in helping Puerto Rico build long-term resilience.

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