The federal Department of Housing and Urban Development will allocate $91 million to more than two dozen Puerto Rican municipalities to alleviate the constantly increasing housing shortage caused by the economic crisis that has prevailed on the island for almost seven years.
The Puerto Rican representative to Congress in Washington, Pedro Pierluisi, announced the HUD plan on Monday.
The funds will be channeled through several different HUD initiatives: the subsidy program for community development; the HOME program, the program for emergency shelters; and the housing program for people with HIV/AIDS.
The HOME program specifically increases the number of available dwellings at reasonable prices for low-income families by providing federal funds to finance building projects.
The program for emergency shelters provides federal funds to government and private entities with the aim of improving the quality and quantity of shelters for homeless individuals.
The housing program for people with HIV/AIDS provides aid to people with few resources who have been diagnosed with the disease and who are also experiencing problems finding a place to live.
Housing prices in Puerto Rico reached historic highs in 2007-2008 and then, coinciding with the bursting of the real estate bubble and other factors that caused a deep recession, began a downward plunge accompanied by restrictions on mortgage lending by banks.