SAN JUAN – The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the Puerto Rican government are assessing the housing needs of residents affected by Hurricane Maria, which destroyed thousands of houses on the island, federal officials said on Sunday.
The majority of the dwellings in Puerto Rico were affected by the hurricane, which made landfall on Sept. 20, and the situation has been complicated by the extensive damage caused to the electric grid by toppled utility poles, many of which fell on houses, FEMA said in a statement.
Puerto Rico’s government and FEMA are trying to determine how to best meet the housing needs of residents who lost their homes.
Officials are assessing options for providing short-term housing to people whose homes were destroyed and ensure that homeless residents have immediate safe housing.
FEMA said it was working with Gov. Ricardo Rossello on the possibility of using the islands limited number of hotels with electricity to house hurricane victims.
The hotel program, however, has not yet been approved, FEMA said.
Displaced residents, meanwhile, are staying with relatives or in public shelters.
More than 2,000 roofs and blue roofing tarps have been installed, officials said, adding that $120 million in housing assistance has been provided so far to Puerto Ricans.