Grantees In Action

Home Ownership via Sworn Statements to Access Recovery Funds

Ayuda Legal Puerto Rico offers education, advocacy, and legal support to marginalized communities to help them access government resources that are allocated to the conservation and reconstruction of homes affected by Hurricanes Irma and Maria. Key wins so far include:

  • The organization worked with FEMA officials to develop a sworn statement form that hurricane victims can use to demonstrate ownership of their homes, an essential step in the FEMA Individual Household Programs application process. The development of the form responded to the overwhelming number of denied applications due to a lack of a formal property title from people requesting aid.
  • This led to the signing of an executive order by Puerto Rico’s Governor instructing the Puerto Rico Department of Housing to accept the sworn statement mentioned above in applications for a housing reconstruction program financed with CDBG-DR funds. This was a great victory for Ayuda Legal Puerto Rico and other entities and individuals that for the past three years demanded that post-disaster government assistance not be conditioned to a formal property title.
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