We keep moving forward! Ayuda Legal Puerto Rico introduced its first bill by petition: legislation to ban evictions and foreclosures during a disaster (House Bill 488 and Senate Bill 199). The first hearing has already taken place before the Puerto Rico House Committee on Housing and Urban Development and it was a success. Now we move to the Puerto Rico Senate, where it also has broad multi-party support. The next hearings are Tuesday, March 16th at 10 am.
What Does the Project Do?
- Bans evictions and foreclosures after an emergency or major disaster declaration. Applies to public and private housing, and every type of residential mortgage.
- Places a moratorium on rent and mortgage payments for three months after a declaration of emergency or major disaster.
- Provides remedies for rights violations by homeowners and banks that do not comply with these protections.
We oppose intimidation tactics by the associations that group and represent financial entities. We reiterate the value of our research, legal support, and advocacy efforts to stop foreclosures on vulnerable families and individuals. We do it because we are interested in knowing and denouncing the threat of taking a home from a family that cannot pay their mortgage, a greater threat in times of disaster.
Who Supports this Project?
Different organizations and groups have expressed their support for the project, both in Puerto Rico and the United States. These include Oficina Legal de la Comunidad, Legal Clinic at the Inter-American University School of Law, Colegio de Trabajadores y Trabajadoras Sociales de Puerto Rico, AARP, Fair Share Housing Center, Comité Diálogo Ambiental, Urbe a Pie, El Puente, Taller Salud, Federación de Maestros de Puerto Rico, Construyamos otro Acuerdo, Brigada Solidaria del Oeste, Mujeres de Islas, PISO proyecto, Comedores Sociales de Puerto Rico, Centro de Apoyo Mutuo Bucarabones Unidos, Huerto Vida, among others. The National Low Income Housing Coalition, a coalition of over 700 organizations that leads housing advocacy efforts in the United States, also endorsed the project.
We also showed our support see the letter.