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Housing Assistance; Help Remains after Deadlines

Release date: 
February 14, 2019
Release Number: 
FS 053

Hundreds of thousands of homeowners continue to repair and rebuild their hurricane-damaged properties with assistance from several FEMA programs and other resources.

  • The deadline for receiving FEMA rental assistance and the agency’s Direct Lease program is approaching. In FEMA’s Direct Lease program the agency pays landlords directly, allowing survivors a temporary place to live while rebuilding homes or looking for permanent housing.
  • Both programs are available for up to 18 months from the date of the disaster declaration. On March 20, 2019 it will be exactly 18 months from the date the federal disaster declaration was made on September 20, 2017 for Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico.
  • FEMA has provided $734 million in housing assistance, which includes:

 Over $513 million for repairs and rebuilding;

 Over $128 million for temporary rental assistance;

 Over $11 million for on FEMA’s Direct Lease program.

  • Another $1.7 billion in low-interest disaster loans has been approved from the U.S. Small Business Administration to repair or replace property.
  • The Tu Hogar Renace program, which is funded by FEMA but administered by the Puerto Rico Department of Housing, has made basic emergency repairs to over 108,000 homes, at an average cost of $10,000 per home. Many of the repairs were done when labor and building materials on the island were scarce.
  • The VALOR (Voluntary Agencies Leading and Organizing Repair) program, voluntary agencies using FEMA-funded materials to rebuild, has helped repair almost 3,000 homes, at an average cost of $5,000 per home.
  • As the deadline approaches for FEMA’s Direct Lease program and rental assistance, agency representatives continue to meet with survivors regularly to help them develop a housing plan. FEMA also helps connect families with organizations that offer additional resources.
  • FEMA’s direct leasing and rental assistance are not meant as a permanent housing solution for survivors. They offer temporary shelter while disaster survivors find a safe and habitable place to live. Safe and habitable is defined as: Doors, roof and windows that are structurally sound. And gas, heat, plumbing and sewer and septic systems that function properly.
  • As of Feb. 6, 189 households are participating in FEMA’s direct lease program. At its peak, a total of 367 families were in the program.
  • Survivors can also receive additional information on housing and other recovery resources by visiting a Community Recovery Center near them. To find one in your area, go to
  • Case management services help survivors find safe and habitable housing and other recovery resources. For information on a case manager in your municipality, see the list below.

Organization: Corporación de Desarrollo Económico, Vivienda y Salud

787-897-3300 /

Municipalities: Arecibo, Barceloneta, Camuy, Hatillo, Lares, Quebradillas, Utuado

Organization: Endeavors – 787-520-5185 /

Municipalities: Adjuntas, Aguada, Aguadilla, Aibonito, Arecibo, Arroyo, Barceloneta, Barranquitas, Bayamón, Cabo Rojo, Caguas, Canóvanas, Cayey, Ceiba, Ciales, Cidra, Coamo, Corozal, Fajardo, Florida, Guayanilla, Gurabo, Humacao, Isabela, Juana Díaz, Juncos, Las Piedras, Luquillo, Manatí, Mayagüez, Moca, Morovis, Naguabo, Naranjito, Orocovis, Peñuelas, Ponce, Rincón, Rio Grande, Salinas, San Juan, San Lorenzo, San Sebastián, Santa Isabel, Toa Alta, Vega Alta, Vega Baja, Villalba, Yauco

Organization: The Facilitators: Camp Ironhorse / 787-664-1723/

Municipalities: Carolina, Guaynabo, San Juan, Trujillo Alto, Bayamon

Organization: Lutheran Social Services – 787-333-2185 /

Municipalities: Bayamón, Cataño, Comerío, Dorado, Guaynabo, Humacao, Loíza, Toa Baja, Yabucoa

Organization: Operation Hope – 888-388-4673 /

Municipalities: La Marías, Maricao

Organization: Rehaciendo Comunidades or Rebuilding Communities with Hope (REHACE)

787-765-3195 /

Municipalities: Aguas Buenas, Aibonito, Arecibo, Arroyo, Barranquitas, Bayamón, Carolina, Cidra, Comerío, Guayama, Guaynabo, Hatillo, Humacao, Jayuya, Juana Díaz, Maunabo, Patillas, Salinas, San Juan, Santa Isabel, Toa Baja, Trujillo Alto, Utuado, Vieques, Yabucoa

Organization: Salvation Army – 787-504-7070 /

Municipalities: Adjuntas, Aguadilla, Aibonito, Arecibo, Barceloneta, Barranquitas, Bayamón, Caguas, Canóvanas, Carolina, Cayey, Comerío, Culebra, Fajardo, Guayama, Guaynabo, Humacao, Jayuya, Lares, Loíza, Manatí, Mayagüez, Morovis, Naranjito, Orocovis, Patillas, Peñuelas, Ponce, Rio Grande, Salinas, San Juan, San Sebastián, Toa Alta, Toa Baja, Utuado, Vega Alta, Vieques, Villalba, Yabucoa

Organization: Sabana Grande Community and Economic Development (SACED)

787-804-3197 /

Municipalities: Guánica, Sabana Grande, San Germán, Hormigueros, Lajas, Yauco

Organization: Society of St. Vincent de Paul (SVDP) – 866-316-0006 /

Municipalities: Aguas Buenas, Añasco, Arecibo, Caguas, Camuy, Canóvanas, Carolina, Cayey, Corozal, Guayama, Juncos, Manatí, Mayagüez, Naranjito, Ponce, San German, San Juan, San Lorenzo, Vega Alta, Vega Baja, Yabucoa


Last Updated: 
February 14, 2019 - 12:57