July 27, 2021

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Reconstruction work begins on homes destroyed by María

Governor Wanda Vázquez inaugurated the construction of a new house in the Ceiba Sur neighborhood of Juncos, for a family that lost its home during the scourge of Hurricane María, and who is one of the 339 families who identified themselves as cases to be attended with priority.

As explained by the governor, the new residence of Don Reinaldo and Doña Silvia, should begin construction next week, once the demolition of what was left of the old structure is finished, and, According to the evaluation of the project engineer, it should be completed within the next 90 days, although according to the agreements with Housing, they have a term of up to 180 days to complete the project.

“We are very happy that this finally occurs . And what I want is for the people of Puerto Rico to know that the funds related to the reconstruction of the houses are being granted and they are already where they have to be, with the people who need them, "said Vázquez.

He added that, The couple was also awarded money so that they can live rented elsewhere, while the construction of their home is completed.

The home will also be built “with all the requirements of the (federal law) ADA (law for Americans with disabilities, in English) ”taking into account that Doña Silvia is a person with special needs.

“ I am very grateful for all they have done for us, for me and for my wife. I did not expect a residence like the one that will be built for me. We wait, the time we have spent, but thank God, we are now closer. So thank you all very much, "said Don Reinaldo, visibly moved.

The Secretary of the House, Luis Carlos Fernández, explained that the house will be built under the R3 program, in which there are currently 26,997 applications, from people who they lost or suffered considerable damage to their home during Hurricanes Irma and María. He clarified that this project does not include the homes affected by the earthquakes in the southwest, which are being addressed under other programs.

Fernández explained that of that total of 26,997 cases, there are already 339 houses under construction in 66 municipalities, with an allocation of $ 22 million, of which there are already 180 in which the process of “pick and shovel” began, understood construction as such.

The secretary added that those first 339 are cases that were identified as priorities because they are from families with people over 65 years of age, some disability, and who have substantial damage, such as being under blue awnings. In total, there are some 1,300 homes identified as priority cases for meeting the three conditions described above.

At the moment, Fernández explained, there are 2,642 applications registered in the program, in which "the applicant indicated that the house suffered substantial damage and also certified that this substantial damage is because it has a blue awning. "

In some cases, instead of repairing or rebuilding, what will be done is to relocate families to new homes in another home.

On the other hand , explained the secretary, in cases where families lack ownership documents, they work in two ways: in simpler cases, ownership is worked with "alternative ways of evidencing ownership" such as tax forms, invoices of water or light. In more difficult cases, for example involving heir situations, it is transferred to the title authorization program, and the person continues on duty so that his case is attended to once the property title issue is resolved.

Fernández addressed the Reconstruction costs under this program, and highlighted that they are governed by a system, which is also used in other states, in which unit costs for materials and others are determined, so that the cost is the same anywhere de la Isla.

“Housing, as program administrator, is responsible, in front of federal housing, for everything that happens. And the contractor who refuses, simply is out of the program. We are not here with contemplations. They are people who are willing to work, there are federal guidelines that we have to comply with, do you accept them, yes or no? If not, then simply looking for other options, "said the secretary.

" That contractor, that person who is part of this program, and comes with the intention, or in the course fails to comply with the conditions of this program, or commits any irregularity, here you will not be able to be, and you will have to respond, "insisted the governor.

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