Pa'lante: Aug. 6

Issue #10: HUD allocates $1B for disaster relief, the FEMA TSA deadline was extended again and more

Last week the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development announced plans to set aside $1.5 billion for a disaster recovery plan for Puerto Rico. The funds were allocated in February, but HUD just released the specifics of how the money will be spent. Most of it, $1 billion, will be used to repair housing on the island.

“Today, we turn an important corner in our long-term effort to rebuild hard-hit communities in Puerto Rico. This is just the beginning — billions in federal disaster recovery funding will soon be put to work and help our fellow citizens in Puerto Rico rebuild their homes and their lives.” – Ben Carson, HUD Secretary

Read the full story by Kate Santich at the Orlando Sentinel.

Displaced Puerto Ricans Have Another Month of Housing—But What’s Next? FEMA’s TSA program has been extended again – this time until Aug. 31. (Yessenia Funes / Earther)

Organizations Sue FEMA Over Information Tied to Hurricane Marial: The Center for Investigative Reporting in Puerto Rico and LatinoJustice allege that FEMA has failed to provide requested documents concerning the agency’s relief efforts in Puerto Rico. (Emily Birnbaum / The Hill)

Researchers Are Still Counting the Dead From Hurricane Maria: A new estimate puts the death toll from Hurricane Maria at 1,139. (Vann R. Newkirk II / The Atlantic)

Puerto Rico Power Company CEO Expects Privatization in Two Years: PREPA is on its sixth CEO since November. (Michelle Kaske / Bloomberg)

Puerto Rico’s Fiscal Control Board: A Parallel Government Full of Lawyers and Consultants:This is a group of extremely specialized lawyers who go around the world to deal with these government insolvency cases and they charge a lot of money. This was already known.” – Carlo Altieri, a former federal bankruptcy judge (Luis J. Valentín Ortiz / Center for Investigative Journalism)

Puerto Rico's Wounded Medicaid Program Faces Even Deeper Cuts: “These people who have been under our service for the last four or five years — all of a sudden I have to abandon them.” – Dr. José Joaquín Vargaspresident and chief medical adviser for VarMed (Sarah Varney and Carmen Heredia Rodriguez / NPR)

Local NGOs Repair Puerto Rico’s Coral Reefs in Maria’s Aftermath: An estimated 10 percent of Puerto Rico’s corals were broken or damaged by Hurricane Maria. Grupo V.I.D.A.S. is attempting to restore them. (Bobby Bascomb and Stephen Schmidt / PRI)

Thanks for reading. If you have news you think should be considered for inclusion in next week’s issue, please email