HUD awards Puerto Rico $1.5 billion for hurricane recovery efforts

Hurricane-devastated Puerto Rico got a financial lifeline.

The US Department of Housing and Urban Development said it is awarding the island $1.5 billion to help it recover from Hurricane Maria.

The money will be used as grants to support the long-term recovery of seriously damaged homes and businesses.

Housing Secretary Ben Carson said HUD will also cut red tape to speed up Puerto Rico's recovery.

Officials said earlier this week that nearly half a million electric customers remain without power.

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