Chairman’s Message | October 2020

Dear PRBA members,

Amidst this pandemic, we at the PRBA Board of directors have kept our members well-being in mind. Since the first lockdown ordered by Governor Vázquez Garced, the PRBA has kept diligently working to ensure that our industry members kept informed and educated as well updated on the efforts made to ensure our industry keeps as one of the essential industry on the island economy.

Several initiatives we have been working on are:

Guidelines for the CDBG-DR Voucher Program:

As we stated in our last communication, COVID-19 cannot deviate us from our priorities: moving forward with our plan of providing decent and safe housing and structures.  We have continued our conversations with the Department of Housing to move forward with the CBDG-DR Action Plan and that the much-needed construction of thousands of homes that Puerto Rico needs can begin.

As part of the design of a management plan for the usage of the funds allocated to assist those whose homes were severely damaged or were a total loss as a consequence of the ravaging caused by Hurricane María, the PRBA have been actively collaborating with the Puerto Rico Housing Department in a way to delineate strategies to educate our members on the other available programs within the CDBG-DR action plan.

Puerto Rico Planning Board Joint Regulation Hearings

We were invited by the Puerto Rico Planning Board to join several professional associations and participate in the public hearings where the Joint Regulation was discussed. We have remained very attentive to the development of these hearings and have met the PRPB President, María Gordillo in a way to make our position and opinions heard since the Joint Regulation is crucial to our industry.

Puerto Rico Housing Department Public Hearings

The PRBA participated in the PR Housing Department public hearings to discuss the CBDG-DR (MIT) program. This program has allocated funds to address the need of those who has suffered a direct impact to their homes due to the early January earthquakes. This program provides and foresees funds to mitigate future damages those structures may face.

One of our working committees has been evaluating the draft CDBG-DR (MIT) funds work plan for relevant comments.

We thank those members who have been collaborating in the working committees by participating in several virtual meetings to evaluate these drafts and promptly submit their comments.

We encourage our members to join any of the working committees and thus contribute directly to the development of our association.

Puerto Rico Consumer Affairs Office Public Hearings

With the intention that our members can have all the possible and necessary tools and can be prepared to properly conduct our businesses and functions, the PRBA has kept their close attention to the public hearings on the regulation of the Condominium Administrator’s position.

Meeting with the PREPA executive director and the PRASA president

Members of our Board of Directors met with the Puerto Rico Electric and Power Authority executive director and the Puerto Rico Aqueduct and Sewer Authority to address several concerns related to those factors that directly impact our members and our industry.

Webcasts and webinars

Evidently this pandemic has forced us to change our mindsets and the way we provide our members and the community the necessary tools to fulfill their educational needs. Education and orientation of or membership has always been a priority to the PRBA.

Amid the pandemic and the several lockdowns ordered by the Puerto Rico government, the PRBA has offered a series of webcasts and webinars to address several topics that are relevant to our membership:

  1. Contributions- with the collaboration of Kevane Grant Thornton
  2. CDBG-DR funds with the Secretary of the Puerto Rico Department of Housing, Luis Carlos Fernández, Esq., and the Deputy Secretary of the CDBG-DR Program, Eng. Dennis González.
  3. Economic and Security Projections with the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB)
  4. Economic Impact of the COVID-19 with a team of experts led by Resident Commissioner Jennifer González
  5. Proper Risk Management as a Foundation for Resiliency in collaboration with the Certified Risk Management Group
  6. Best Practices for the Home Reconstructions After a Natural Disaster in collaboration with the ResilientSEE organization and the Voluntariado de Ingenieros y Profesionales de Puerto Rico.
  7. Bringing Critical Manufacturing Back to the USA- Puerto Rico in collaboration with the ULI- Caribbean
  8. CDBG-DR funds Learn How Does the Voucher Program Works- with the participation of Luis Carlos Fernández- Trinchet, Secretary of the Puerto Rico Department of Housing and the CBDG-DR deputy secretary Maretize Díaz, Esq.
  9. Most Relevant Changes contain on the New Municipal Code with the participation and collaboration of our members and experts Cristian Bernaschina, Esq. and the CPA Rafael Del Valle.

We appreciate the constant support you have given us by participating in these webinars. We will keep bringing educative opportunities always keeping in mind the well-being of our membership.

I would like to remind all our Members the importance of your participation in our Annual Assembly (meeting) which will be held on Thursday, October 15, and in which we will select the newest members of our Board of Directors and where important decisions that will impact our Association and our members will be made.  

This annual meeting will serve as a prelude to our Virtual Annual Convention. Adjusting to the extraordinary circumstances we are all facing the registration process for the November 11-12 virtual annual convention: Embracing Challenges with a New Mind Set will be performed through a digital platform for which the link will be available in this newsletter.  Be one of the firsts to guarantee your space in the most important event of the construction industry on the Island.