Citi Community Development and Four Local Housing Organizations Announce Major Initiative to Support Post-Hurricane Housing Recovery in Puerto Rico

Puerto Rico Neighborhood Housing Services, Corp., Ponce Neighborhood
Housing Services, Inc., PathStone and One Stop Career Center of Puerto
Rico to offer housing counseling, repairs and other recovery services in
communities across the Commonwealth, with support from Citi

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Citi Community Development and four Department of Housing and Urban
Development (HUD)-approved housing counseling organizations announced
today an initiative to provide urgently-needed housing assistance in
Puerto Rican communities affected by Hurricane Maria. The initiative
will help thousands of families across the Commonwealth recover from the
devastation of the storm by securing housing solutions and providing
essential housing services, such as support for home repairs, free
housing counseling, and other vital recovery resources, to renters and
homeowners alike.

Supported by $500,000 in funding from Citi Community Development, the
four participating housing organizations — Puerto Rico NHS, Ponce
Neighborhood Housing Services, Pathstone and One Stop Career Center of
Puerto Rico — will collaborate with municipalities and community
leaders to target some of the island’s hardest-hit communities.
Residents are currently in need of a broad spectrum of assistance that
will be addressed through this initiative, including financial
assessments; connections to local resources; and consultations on
mortgage forbearances, insurance claims and FEMA applications. In
addition, this initiative will directly support the reconstruction of
homes by making repairs to doors, windows, and roofs damaged by the

“I’d like to thank Citi for teaming with four outstanding Puerto Rican
organizations to help in this ongoing time of crisis,” said Ricardo
Rosselló, Governor of Puerto Rico
. “Housing is one of the most
fundamental and pressing needs and this support will help many families
receive the assistance and funding required to rebuild and get back on
their feet.”

“Months after the storms have passed, thousands of Puerto Ricans are
facing displacement and deep financial instability, with few, if any
options to turn to for assistance,” said Bob Annibale, Global
Director, Citi Community Development and Inclusive Finance
. “By
partnering with trusted, locally-based housing organizations, we are
able to provide access to vital counseling, repairs, and other housing
support services to assist hundreds of Puerto Rican families as they
begin to stabilize and rebuild their homes and their lives.”

“Thank you to Citi for helping our fellow American citizens in Puerto
Rico. Housing is the glue that helps hold a family together and this
effort will provide desperately needed resources to jumpstart their road
to recovery,” said Rep. Nydia M. Velázquez (D-NY).

Hurricane Maria struck Puerto Rico on September 20, 2017—two weeks after
Hurricane Irma—leaving behind massive devastation to vital
infrastructure, property and homes.

In some communities, 80 to 90 percent of homes were completely
destroyed, and hundreds of thousands of housing units across the island
were severely damaged, often leaving low-income families particularly
hard hit. Thousands of Puerto Ricans were displaced to shelters, and
many forced to stay with family members or move into hotels, while more
than 200,000 have relocated to the U.S. Research conducted by Enterprise
Community Partners shortly after the storm estimated
that more than 150,000 (roughly 10 percent) of homes will need to be
rebuilt, and tens of thousands will need to be repaired.

“During nearly 100 years in Puerto Rico, Citi has strived to support the
development and progress of all of the Commonwealth’s communities,” said Guillermo
Gomez, Citi’s Chief Officer for Puerto Rico
. “This new investment
will ensure residents, especially those living on lower incomes, get the
housing support they urgently need, and is a further demonstration of
Citi’s commitment to Puerto Rico and its ongoing recovery and renewal.”

At the time of the storms, Puerto Rico was already in a decade-long
economic recession, with nearly half of residents living below the
poverty line; according to a recent
conducted by the Census Information Center at the University
of Puerto Rico in Cayey, the poverty rate could potentially reach 59.8
percent given the length of recovery.

Collectively, the organizations aim to serve an estimated 2,000
individuals and families, and will also support the reconstruction of
nearly 100 homes. In addition, PathStone will provide assistance to over
85 small business owners whose businesses were badly damaged and whose
incomes have been severely disrupted.

Blanca Vélez Beachamp, Executive Director, Puerto Rico, N.H.S., Corp. said,
“After visiting our facilities impacted by Hurricane María, and
assessing the priorities and needs of our communities, we started by
providing them with comfort – hugs, water and food – and showing them
they were not alone and that we were there to help. In order to start
offering our help, we needed committed partners who could understand the
anguish of our people, and we went to Citi – our partner for 23 years.
Immediately, Citi showed their commitment to help us. Our community
needed many things, but the most urgent were roofs and houses where they
could re-establish their homes.

Today, thanks to Citi’s help, construction of safe roofs and stable
houses has started for three of the 20 Comunidad Alto El Cabro families
impacted by the hurricane. We have started making our dream a reality,
and we thank Citi for being an example for Puerto Ricans! This is a
great example of how the private sector and the nonprofit organizations
can work together.”

“In difficult times, it is when we demonstrate our commitment and
dedication,” said Elizabeth Rivera, Executive Director, Neighborhood
Housing Services
. “Ponce NHS has been hand-in-hand with affected
families and communities in the south and central areas of the island
during this time of crisis. We have offered humanitarian relief, housing
counseling, foreclosure prevention and other services that have defined
our organization for the past 24 years. This has been possible thanks to
collaborations with organizations, such as Citi, who has supported us
financially and provided a friendly hand we can rely on. Thank you Citi
for believing in Ponce NHS, its communities and its people. Puerto Rico
will come out ahead!”

“PathStone has provided critically important services including housing,
employment and business lending in the south, west and central region of
Puerto Rico for more than 20 years. Our work is possible thanks to
collaboration of organizations as Citi who provided financial assistance
to support our disaster recovery efforts. Funds received from Citi will
allow PathStone to provide immediate relief to families affected
by Hurricane Maria with grants for housing rehabilitation in the
Municipalities of Utuado, Jayuya, Ponce, Salinas and Guayama, among
other services. We thank Citi for this and all other support to
PathStone,” said Maria Rodriguez, Director of Housing Programs
of PathStone Corporation

“After the hurricane, One Stop Career Center of Puerto Rico has been
providing services, including assistance to people who were denied FEMA
funds, free legal assistance, and guidance and financial assistance to
those who requested a moratorium,” said Carmen Cosme, Executive
Director, One Stop Career Center of Puerto Rico
. “Our team managed
to provide food to more than 500 families in the south central zone. We
assisted more than 75 people with HIV; providing them with basic
necessities and temporary housing. One Stop conducted a needs assessment
in the Candelaria neighborhood of Toa Baja benefiting several families,
evaluating affected homes and providing mattresses, diapers for adults
and children and other aid. Thanks to Citi’s support, we are now working
to rehabilitate homes of families that have been affected by Hurricane
Maria through the support of our program participants.”

About Citi Community Development

Citi Community Development leads Citi’s commitment to financial
inclusion and economic empowerment for underserved individuals, families
and communities across the U.S. Through innovative collaborations with
municipalities, community groups and leading nonprofit organizations, we
harness Citi’s expertise, products and services to help expand
opportunity for all.

Additional information may be found at |
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About Puerto Rico Neighborhood Housing Services, Corp.

Puerto Rico Neighborhood Housing Services, Corp. (Puerto Rico NHS) is a
Private, Non-profit, Community base organization, providing Financial,
Housing and Foreclosure Prevention Education and Counseling. Also, it
offers loans for home purchases, rehabilitation and energy saving
appliances. An organization with 22 years of experience working with low
income residents, Educating and Counseling them how they can become
homeowners in a responsible way. Also, how they can overcome a Financial
Crisis and maintain their houses avoiding foreclosure risk. In 2011
Puerto Rico NHS, Corp. was chosen as the Grantee to manage EHLP Program,
a federal initiative to help thousands of residents facing foreclosure
around the nation.

In 2015, the organization was recognized as a NeighborWorks America
GREEN Organization due to its initiatives to save resources like water
and energy, and to protect the environment. The organization was
included in the NeighborWorks Works: Practical Solutions Book for its
initiative of Work With Sensibility in the Crisis, at the Foreclosure
Prevention Center, in year 2016.

About Ponce Neighborhood Housing Services, Inc.

Ponce Neighborhood Housing Services (Ponce NHS) is a community based/HUD
certified nonprofit with more than 20 years providing assistance and
services regarding the purchase and rehabilitation of low- and
moderate-income housing in the Southern and central region of Puerto
Rico. They also provide first time homebuyer, financial capability and
foreclosure prevention education/counseling, in addition to
community building, development and engagement initiatives. The
organization collaborates with various municipalities in P.R.

About PathStone

is a nonprofit organization that works with communities in New York,
Vermont, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana, Virginia and Puerto
Rico. Currently, PathStone provides various services including
employment, small business loans, housing and continues to advocate for
the rights of farm workers, individuals and low income communities with
economic and social disadvantage.

About One Stop Career Center of Puerto Rico

One Stop Career Center of Puerto Rico is a private non-profit
organization 501 (C) (3) established in 2000, with the compromise of
developing and strengthening the community structures emphasizing in
three initiatives, education, health and housing for laid off workers,
offenders and returning citizens (ex-offenders), single parents,
individuals with disabilities, the elderly, youth and other socio
economically disadvantaged populations in urban and rural areas.


Citi Community Development
Patricia Tuma,