Puerto Rico’s housing crisis after Hurricane Maria


Gladys Peña constructed a house the best way many hundreds of individuals in Puerto Rico, perhaps most, did for many years: in makeshift style.

Each week for years, Peña, a cafeteria prepare dinner, set cash apart till she had sufficient to purchase a vacant picket shack in a densely packed working-class barrio, a one-time squatters’ group a brief stroll from the towers of San Juan’s Golden Mile monetary district. She knocked down a lot of the flimsy home, purchased constructing supplies little by little and steadily constructed herself a concrete-block first flooring with little greater than a kitchen in it, after which a picket second story topped by a corrugated zinc-metallic roof.

Her builders have been guys from the neighborhood. Her son salvaged a rusty metal stair from an deserted constructing close by and affixed it to the entrance of the tiny home so she might get from the kitchen to her second-story bed room suite, which requires going outdoors. To hook as much as electrical energy, she took out a $2,000 financial institution mortgage.

Like nearly all her neighbors in Las Monjas, certainly one of eight adjoining communities within the bigger Caño Martín Peña enclave that’s residence to 26,000 individuals, Peña had no blueprint for her home. No permits. No inspections. No insurance coverage. Not even title to the land beneath it.

“This was all executed with out an architect,” Peña, now retired at seventy one and a volunteer chief in her group group, stated. “The one who designed it was me.”



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