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  • Writer's pictureThe San Juan Daily Star

Mayors Assn. president, HUD officials discuss growth of affordable housing

By The Star Staff

Puerto Rico Mayors Association President Luis Javier Hernández Ortiz met this week with Dr. Kimberly A. McClain, the assistant secretary for governmental affairs, international relations and policy development at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to discuss establishing a teamwork plan to advance the reconstruction and better use of Community Development Block Grant Disaster Recovery (CDBG-DR) funds and create affordable communities that are inclusive and resilient throughout Puerto Rico.

McClain serves as senior counsel to HUD’s secretary, deputy secretary, and senior staff regarding legislative affairs, congressional relations, and policy issues affecting federal, state, and private interest groups.

“I have seen firsthand the positive impact of access to affordable housing and economic mobility, and we want municipalities to be critical to teamwork and for HUD to help equip, grow and build this team’s relationships among stakeholders across government,” said Hernández Ortiz, who is the mayor of Villalba.

Efraín Maldonado, who heads the HUD office locally, actively participated in the meeting.

“I appreciate Maldonado’s important cooperation in this process and we hope to expand the work for the benefit of our municipalities,” Hernández Ortiz said.

The Mayors Association president promised to visit the U.S. capital, to bring with him complete documentation of how recovery work is being carried out in Puerto Rico and to continue looking for alternatives that benefit all Puerto Ricans who have the need for affordable housing.

A few months ago, HUD announced an allocation of $24.2 million to government and community entities that provide services to the homeless, thus assisting individuals and families facing the lack of permanent housing.

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