Today we are releasing a Call to Action for all Americans and Boricuas in the Diaspora, and their advocates.
The Diaspora has been critical at combating contracts or policies that would cause irreparable harm to the Puerto Ricans on the island. Take #Whitefish and the temporary lifting of the #JonesAct
We need your attention and your action on an issue that involves 1.5 Billion dollars in funding going to Puerto Rico for housing disaster relief: The Housing Plan for use of Federal Funds created by the local government.
Please share the information and pictures provided below and use the Call to Action Template to discuss with your local representatives why we should be concerned over the Housing Plan’s imminent approval.
This is a critical moment that we cannot ignore or wait on. Please join me in sharing this important interview with David Carrasquillo from the Puerto Rican Planning Society (SPP).
HUD is about to approve a plan of 1.5 billion dollars that does not address the actual communities impacted.
The Deputy Secretary of HUD admitted she did not read the Housing Plan during a meeting but said they will approve it anyway. Again, we see that Puerto Ricans are treated in a discriminatory manner, being told that their input is needed but then their input and public comments are not used to revise the plan.
The issues in the Plan identified by the Puerto Rican Planning Society are as follows:
No link is established between the money to be allocated and the communities worst affected by the hurricanes (which are also not identified);
It is based on a process of public hearings that did not engage the relevant communities/stakeholderse;
The plan opens the possibility for closed-door decision-making processes and corruption;
It is characterized by a vision to create more or newer development without taking into account the overwhelming amount of abandoned properties on the island;
Adds programs to use funds outside the amount indicated for the assignment;
Does not use official information collected by FEMA to estimate non-covered needs;
It does not take into consideration recommendations from civil society groups that were commissioned to generate reports and recommendations for the development of the Plan;
Does not take into consideration the local public policy on planning issues such as: the Land Use Plan (PUT), the Municipal Plans for Territorial Planning (POTs), the Multi-hazard Mitigation Plans, the Adaptation Plans to Climate Change , among others;
It does not recognize rights to the people affected by the Plan’s proposals, especially the persons and communities with potential to be displaced;
Does not comply with the law regarding the role of licensed professional planners in the development of the document.
This could have very tangible impacts on which communities will actually receive the Block Grants or how much of it they receive. We need to make some noise.
This is the Housing Action plan that was released for public comment (Note: there is no plan to even consider the public comments that were already submitted by the May 25th Deadline):
content/uploads/ponencias/ Puerto_Rico_Action_Plan_ Public_for_Comment.pdf
The Puerto Rican Planning Society released the above points on FB in Spanish and they can be found here:
notes/sociedad-puertorrique% C3%B1a-de-planificaci%C3%B3n/ comunicado-de-prensa- planificadores-no-respaldan- plan-de-vivienda/ 2106496292697284/
Call to Action Template