SOLIDARITY WITH PUERTO RICO
Progressive City condemns the inadequacy of the U.S. Government’s response to Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico, which is yet one more reflection of the island’s status as a U.S. colony. Grassroots groups in Puerto Rico are filling the gap and we urge everyone to help out with their contributions. These are groups that have deep roots in communities, and two long-time friends of Planners Network, Liliana Cotto Morales and Edwin Quiles, recommended them. The groups include perhaps the largest community land trust in the Americas, El Caño de Martín Peña in San Juan, which Liliana and Edwin are associated with.
"Puerto Rico is facing devastation after the worst hurricanes in a century hit the already hurting island.
The situation is critical for the entire island, but even more so for its most vulnerable communities.
The 26,000 residents in the Caño Martín Peña communities live in a flooding-prone area in substandard housing. Many houses have been partly or completely destroyed during the hurricanes.
Residents are now working with volunteers, architects and engineers, to rebuild the neighbourhood in a way that can reduce their vulnerability and ensure equitable development.
Money is needed to help rebuild. The Champlain Housing Trust is acting as our fiscal agent, and will make sure that 100% of funds raised for relief will go to the residents through the G-8, the group of community organisations led by residents of the Caño Martín Peña communities. Money will be spent on buying construction materials and replacing furniture and white goods for those who have lost everything.
The Caño residents won last year's United Nations / BSHF World Habitat Award for their Community Land Trust -- joining the Champlain Housing Trust as a past award recipient.
Thank you for helping them get back to their crucial neighbourhood development work!”
The devastating effects of hurricane Maria on Puerto Rico are still unfolding, but one thing is certain—the island's most vulnerable communities are likely to be pummeled the hardest and face the longest road to recovery.
Low-income communities of color often face the worst destruction and slowest recovery and have fewer resources to safeguard homes, vehicles, and other property. When the winds die down and the floods recede, these communities are often forgotten by reconstruction efforts, and underserved by insurance companies.
The Hurricane Maria Community Relief & Recovery Fund will be housed at the Center for Popular Democracy (CPD). One hundred percent of monies raised will be used to support immediate relief, recovery, and equitable rebuilding in Puerto Rico for the communities hit hardest by the storm. The Fund is governed by organizations like Puerto Rico-based Taller Salud, the G8 of Caño Martín Peña, and other local, grassroots organizations. The Fund will support organizations working with these hardest hit communities in Puerto Rico.