The San Juan Daily Star
Housing Dept. campaign to highlight testimonies of disaster relief recipients
By John McPhaul
“Caras de R3” is the name of a new campaign launched by the island Housing Department on its digital platforms to make the reconstruction of the island visible through the testimony of thousands of people who have benefited from the multi-million-dollar allocation that Puerto Rico has received as a consequence of the damage inflicted by hurricanes Irma and Maria.
“We have already impacted the lives of 5,183 low- and moderate-income families under the R3 [Reconstruction, Rehabilitation, and Relocation] program and we cannot minimize these benefits to a roof or a home, since we are able to offer our participants a better quality of life, resilience and security,” Housing Secretary William Rodríguez Rodríguez said. “That is why we want to make visible the faces of thousands of Puerto Ricans who have benefited and will continue to benefit from these funds.”
On Wednesday, Gov. Pedro Pierluisi and Rodríguez delivered eight homes from the R3 program for residents of various municipalities in the eastern zone.
Las Caras de R3 will highlight, daily on social media, the reconstruction work and success stories of the program, as well as the achievements of other programs under Community Development Block Grant-Disaster Recovery (CDBG-DR) funds.
“We recognize that there is still a long way to go, but we have many stories to present and they are stories that fill us with great pride because with each one of them we give people hope,” Rodríguez said. “Each of these testimonies motivates us to continue implementing strategies to make Puerto Rico more resilient and safer to face any future atmospheric event.”
The R3 program under CDBG-DR recovery funds offers eligible homeowners assistance with in-home repair or reconstruction of significantly damaged homes in non-hazardous locations. Eligible homeowners with affected homes in at-risk areas are offered relocation assistance. When repairing, rebuilding or relocating, R3 guidelines take into account the extent of damage and the location of the home.
“We are going to continue closing cases and giving these families the possibility of a decent and safe home,” the Housing chief said. “The focus … has been to speed up reconstruction and our goal is to serve 6,500 families by the end of this year, 2022.”