The San Juan Daily Star
Lawmaker, builders discuss options for solving island housing shortage
By The Star Staff
Continuing efforts to address the housing accessibility crisis, at-large Rep. José Enrique “Quiquito” Meléndez Ortiz held a meeting over the weekend with members of the Puerto Rico Builders Association to identify solutions to the shortage of social interest housing as well as housing stock for the middle class.
The meeting, held in the office of the New Progressive Party legislator in the Capitol, was attended by architect Vanessa de Marí, president of the Puerto Rico Builders Association, and Nery Rivera, Raúl Marques and José Feliciano.
“The reality is that in Puerto Rico we are going through a crisis of access to housing units, both for social interest and for the middle class,” Meléndez said. “In addition, the long-term rental market has also suffered a severe impact in the past few years. Since the end of last year (2022) we have been working to make a real x-ray, with data and metrics, of how the market stands, particularly in the two sectors described above, in order to identify alternatives to solve the problem and make housing accessible to all.”
“Among what has been discussed, we can highlight the importance of encouraging the construction of new social housing complexes throughout, not only the metropolitan area of San Juan, but also in other municipalities of the island,” the legislator added. “This is an area that we will be studying in detail to see what we can do from the Legislative Assembly. On the other hand, the development of housing units for long-term rental must also be encouraged, for those families that cannot buy their residence at this time.”
The conclave was part of the efforts of the Permanent Working Group, created by Meléndez to address the crisis in the rental of long-term residential properties and the lack of access to housing units for families with limited economic resources, and the middle class.
“We will continue to hold a dialogue with all sectors of the housing market in Puerto Rico to see how we can make access to housing easier for our working class,” Meléndez said. “Meetings with the Banks Association, the Real Estate Brokers Association and consumer groups will be held in the coming weeks.”