New housing available for low-income HIV-AIDS patients & families
By The Star Staff
San Juan Mayor Miguel Romero Lugo and Ramfis J. Pérez Rivera, president of the organization Fight Against AIDS, inaugurated on Wednesday the housing complex El Zorzal Apartments in Río Piedras with the purpose of housing individuals, families or HIV-AIDS positive patients of limited economic resources.
The project was developed with an investment of over $3.3 million, and the units are intended for rent following the income limits established by the federal HOME Investment Partnership Program. Monthly payments range from $328 to $511, depending on the income of each individual or family.
At the project’s inauguration, accompanied by some community and faith-based organization leaders, Romero Lugo stressed the importance of the initiative for the socioeconomic development of the area and even more so for the quality of life of HIV/AIDS patients and their families.
“In San Juan today, we celebrate in a big way the inauguration of a project aimed at promoting and guaranteeing the quality of life and stability of people diagnosed with HIV-AIDS and their families as part of the public policy for easy access to safe housing and public health,” the mayor said. “At the same time, we continue to promote projects to revitalize Río Piedras, better known as the University City, and surrounding areas.”
Romero Lugo thanked Fight Against AIDS for its commitment and approach to making the project a reality.
Pérez Rivera noted that “All good projects encounter obstacles in their path of development. El Zorzal Apartments is no exception.”
“We built it during the pandemic, with great challenges, but with a lot of faith and will,” he said “Today, thanks to God and with much love, we are giving it to the most vulnerable people in our society who suffer from homelessness.”
The complex has six fully equipped buildings with 24 one- and two-bedroom units. In addition, all units have a roof insulation system to control the temperature indoors. It also has a mailbox area and a multipurpose room where social work, health and transportation services, case management and laundry services will be offered to residents. It also has garbage collection and street cleaning services provided by the Municipality of San Juan and public utilities.
The expectation with the development of the housing complex, the mayor said, is that it will become an eco-friendly housing complex operating entirely with solar panels. This will allow for energy savings and residents to have electricity at all times, especially after hurricanes or any other emergency.
El Zorzal Apartments was built following the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and Fair Housing Act (FHAct) accessibility guidelines, so all units, common areas, pedestrian sidewalks, mailbox areas, multipurpose room, trash station, and parking area are accessible to people with disabilities, thus complying with Section 504 rehabilitation.
Any interested citizen or family that believes they qualify to rent in the housing complex may contact 787-294-1533, 787-478-3717, or 939-630-7068.