Puerto Rico Suspends Improperly-Awarded $133 Million Post-Hurricane Housing Contract

(From AP News)

Puerto Rico’s Housing Department said Wednesday it will suspend a $133 million deal with a U.S. company hired to repair homes damaged by Hurricane Maria because a review board found the contract was improperly awarded.

The department’s contractor review board published a ruling on Tuesday that New York-based Adjusters International received the contract, which was subsidized by the Federal Emergency Management Agency, though it did not meet several requirements.

Eric Perez-Ochoa, an attorney for Adjusters International, said in a statement that the company complied with all requirements and is studying the board’s decision, adding that it was “deeply disappointed.” He said thousands of Puerto Ricans were enrolled in the home repairs program and that crews were conducting nearly 1,500 home inspections a day, with 700 Puerto Ricans helping out. He said the company offered a savings of more than $20 million compared with the other proposal.

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