The housing subcommittee of the ReimaginaPR Commision net for its…
The housing subcommittee of the ReimaginaPR Commision net for its third and last time yesterday, bringing together the experts in the field of planning, finance, operations, land use, construction codes, sustainability, and community workshops, for an all day brainstorming session in Santurce, Puerto Rico. Four team leaders from 100 Resilient Cities and AECOM led the discussion amongst thirty consultants who donated their time to produce a list of twelve critical goals that will be summarized and presented to the PR Governor’s office in early June. Housing, one six silos of information, the others being energy, infrastructure, education, natural resources, commerce and transportation, was by far the most attended and complex, uniquely overlapping with the other sectors.
The post-María instigated workshop concluded with a focus on actionable items that support basic rights guaranteeing a roof over your head, title to your land, community empowerment, access to finance and insurance, land planning to densify municipalities, recycling existing abandoned structures, preventive measures to mitigate natural disasters, home owner data collection, mapping informal communities, and creating an oversight commission to monitor and protect public housing for the future.
The sessions were attended by outside observers from FEMA, the Rand Corporation, HUD, Rocky Mountain Institute, and were held in Spanish with headsets for English translation. The morning news the day before reported that an unprecedented $18 Billion in hurricane relief funding was approved by US Congress for Puerto Rico in the form of HUD and Community Development Block Grants, which raised the potential for actual success in our collective efforts. Highlight of the day was my mother, Lucilla Fuller Marvel championing the needs of the informal underserved communities, standing up and placing her thought card at the top of the chart, reminding us why we were all there.