Deadlines extended for several CDBG-DR programs

By John McPhaul

The island Housing Department announced Sunday that the deadline has been extended for applying to the Small Business Incubators and Accelerators, Job Training and Social Interest Housing programs.

The deadlines for applying for funds under those federal Community Development Block Grant-Disaster Recovery (CDBG-DR) programs were postponed due to the effect that the coronavirus pandemic emergency has had on business and dealings with government agencies.

“We are aware that COVID-19 altered many of the steps that are carried out at the government level and in this case for those who have an interest in applying to these three programs,” said Housing Secretary Luis Fernández Trinchet.

The official urged citizens that “if they have not yet had the opportunity to inform themselves about the programs and apply, this is a good opportunity to do so.”

“Gov. Wanda Vázquez Garced continues to be committed to contributing to the urban and social development of Puerto Rico and we remain willing to guide and assist applicants during the process,” he said. “We want these programs to benefit as many people as possible.”

The extended period of the Notice of Availability of Funds to request assistance through the Small Business Incubators and Accelerators Program will be until July 9 at 11:59 p.m.; through the Job Training Program, until July 16 at 11:59 p.m.; and through the Social Interest Housing Program, until July 14 at 11:59 p.m.

Fernández Trinchet emphasized that the evaluation period for each program has also been extended with the application period. The extension applies equally to people who have already completed their applications.

The Small Business Incubators and Accelerators Program will provide grants to organizations and entities for the implementation of initiatives related to the incubation and acceleration of small businesses on the island, and will assist in the development of small business incubation and acceleration facilities.

Meanwhile, the Job Training Program will support training programs to meet the need for skills training on the island, in order to create a workforce that meets the needs of reconstruction and the skills necessary to place Puerto Rico within the economy of the future.

The Social Interest Housing Program will provide financing to non-profit organizations that are committed to providing affordable housing and that work with vulnerable populations to guarantee housing accessibility for people with a wide range of socioeconomic, physical, emotional, and other disabilities.

Social Interest Housing also seeks to expand the number of existing homes to increase the number of vulnerable people served, in addition to bringing existing homes to decent, safe and sanitary conditions, in accordance with all applicable building codes and with health and safety regulations in disaster-affected areas.