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HUD Archives: News Releases

HUD No. 98-492
Further Information:For Release
In the Washington, DC area: 202/708-0685Wednesday
Or contact your local HUD officeOctober 14, 1998


WASHINGTON - At the request of President Clinton, Housing and Urban Development Secretary Andrew Cuomo has sent a team of HUD employees to the Dominican Republic to meet with Dominican President Leonel Fernandez to determine how the United States can best use its construction expertise to rebuild homes damaged or destroyed by Hurricane Georges.

The HUD team, headed by Xavier de Souza Briggs, Deputy Assistant Secretary of HUD's Office of Policy Development and Research, is part of a joint HUD-U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) effort to assess hurricane damage and identify assistance alternatives.

Briggs is fulfilling Cuomo's earlier pledge to President Fernandez to provide HUD assistance to the Dominican people. Cuomo was sent by President Clinton to the Caribbean to survey the damage and offer aid soon after the hurricane hit Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic and Haiti September 20-22.

Briggs also will meet with officials from the National Housing Trust, local savings and loan firms, and the Inter-American Development Bank, primary funders of the rebuilding effort. He will tour hard-hit areas in Barahona and Santo Domingo, the capital.

Hurricane Georges passed directly through the Dominican Republic, resulting in at least 300 deaths and leaving hundreds of thousands of residents displaced and homeless. Some 48,000 homes belonging mostly to low-income people were totally destroyed, according to the Dominican government. Another 123,000 homes were badly damaged but can be repaired. The number of damaged and destroyed homes represents 10 percent of all homes registered in a 1993 census.

Briggs is joined on his visit by National Association of Home Builders Board Member Gary Grossman, an expert on manufactured housing, and by Nelson Carbonell, an architect in HUD's Affordable Housing Research and Technology Division. Carbonell and Grossman will be helping make damage assessments and recommendations on appropriate rebuilding technologies.

Briggs' visit to the Dominican Republic is part of an effort under the Partnership for Advancing Technologies in Housing (PATH) initiative, a public/private partnership developed to increase the use of emerging technologies to improve the affordability, quality, efficiency, and durability of housing in the United States. Briggs will be sharing PATH technology and information with Dominican officials so that the rebuilt and repaired homes are stronger and safer than ever.

Content Archived: January 20, 2009

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