Puerto Rico: Home Reconstruction and Repair
5 Projects Fully Funded: March-June 2019
September 06, 2019
Marisol Espinosa and Noam Zohar
Summary of Activities
Although RMF has been responding to Puerto Rico’s need for health and hygiene supplies since our initial involvement in 2017, in 2019 we elected to broaden the scope of our aid in order to address the shelter and infrastructure needs of the population. Thus, RMF initiated a series of construction projects benefiting vulnerable homeowners in the central mountainous region of Puerto Rico, which remains seriously impacted by Hurricane Maria.
In 2019, RMF began projects for several homes in the municipalities of Corozal, Morovis, Ciales, and Comerío. These municipalities are located in the mountainous central area of the island, where Hurricane Maria did some of its worst damage in 2017. The selected homeowners are primarily ill, elderly, and/or disabled.
RMF fully funded 5 projects between March and June 2019: two in Ciales, one in Morovis, one in Corozal, and one in Comerío. These included the rebuilding of roofs, the reconstruction of homes, and the installation of water tanks and/or pumps. RMF team members also managed the delivery and transport of materials for 27 projects in Ciales which were funded by the FEMA Valor Project.
FEMA Valor Project Cases
Funding 27 Projects
RMF Puerto Rico worked in close coordination with the nonprofit organizations San Vincent De Paul and Endeavors as well as Ciales municipality representatives in order to procure, transport, and manage materials for 27 Projects in Ciales, funded by the FEMA Valor Project. The materials included wood, doors with frames and locks, roof primer and coating, Miami style aluminum windows, and cement.
Alba A. Diaz and Velia E. Serrano
Jet Pump Installation
Alba A. Diaz, 83, and Velia E. Serrano, 52, are a mother and daughter who live together in Ciales. Both are bedridden. As a result of their damaged jet pump, the home did not have potable water available, and family members had to regularly collect water in a bucket. The project consisted of installing a jet pump for the water tank.
Luis Rivera Cruz
Luis Rivera Cruz’s home was badly impacted by Hurricane Maria. Before the initiation of construction, his walls were in need of repair, and his home lacked doors and windows. The cost of the project was $1,777.16, which was funded fully by RMF. Construction began at the beginning of March 2019 and was completed in the second week of April.
Roberto Chéverez Salgado
Home Fully Reconstructed
Roberto Chéverez Salgado is an 80-year-old Morovis resident suffering from diabetes and hypertension. The corrugated zinc from his ceiling had molded, was bent, and had leaks, and his floor was hollow and had gaps. Thus, RMF has elected to fully fund the reconstruction of his home. The total cost of the project was $4,927.97. Construction started at the beginning of April and was completed in mid-May 2019.
Rafael Nevarez Alicea
Preparing for Reconstruction
Rafael Nevarez Alicea is an ill and elderly 77-year-old man who lives in poverty in Corozal. He is currently living outdoors under a makeshift roof, surrounded by pieces of rubble. Thus, RMF will be fully funding the construction of his home.
Construction for this project is still pending and is scheduled to begin on July 11, 2019. However, plans for the project and the purchasing of materials have been underway during this reporting period.
Luz E. Falcon
Water Tank Installation
Luz E. Falcon is a 59-year-old disabled woman. This project is to install a water tank in her home, and it will be supervised by Pastor Jorge Santiago of One Church and worked on by construction team members from the Mayor’s office.
RMF funded this water tank installation project, and the total cost was $693.38. Materials were purchased in March, and the project was completed in at the end of April 2019.
Category 4 Hurricane Maria hit Puerto Rico in September 2017, and over 75,000 residents are still living in damaged or destroyed homes, without the resources to fund repairs or reconstructions. In order to address Puerto Rico’s infrastructure and shelter needs, RMF has enacted a series of construction projects and partnered with FEMA on other building projects. These benefit primarily ill, elderly, or disabled homeowners living in the most hurricane-affected areas of the island. Projects include the rebuilding of roofs, installation of water tanks/jet pumps, the reconstruction of entire homes, and more.
- Conduct major repairs on or reconstructions of badly damaged homes
- Conduct minor repairs on moderately damaged homes
- Install necessary equipment, such as water tanks or electrical equipment
- Improve the quality of life and wellbeing of homeowners
- Prepare homes for subsequent storms and disasters