US awards $18.5 billion in recovery grants for Puerto Rico

The U.S. government is awarding $18.5 billion worth of disaster recovery grants to Puerto Rico for its housing, infrastructure and economic development needs after Hurricane Maria.

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development said Tuesday it is the largest single amount for such assistance ever awarded. The money will be issued through the agency's Community Development Block Grant program.

HUD already had allocated $1.5 billion to the U.S. territory in February for post-hurricane recovery efforts.

The Category 4 storm hit on Sept. 20 and caused more than an estimated $100 billion in damage. It destroyed around 70,000 homes and damaged another 300,000.